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Question and answer: Identity papers destroyed – what to do now?

A young Syrian has landed in Hamburg under great physical and mental strain after a long odyssey. A fire in his container village has destroyed his identity papers. In desperation, he turns to the kohero-magazine.

Photo by Siim Lukka on Unsplash
Fotograf: Siim Lukka on Unsplash

“My name is Rudi (Prodi) Mansour. I am 23 years old, born in Syria, Alkahtanya on 01.01.1994. I have been living in Germany since 2014. At that time, I fled my home country without my family because I was threatened with military service, i.e. going to war.

Escape

I fled from Syria to Turkey on a three-day walk. There I stayed for only a few hours and reached Bulgaria not more than four hours later. The police took my fingerprints and put me in a refugee camp, under inhumane conditions – as if I had been under arrest. There was no food, no money, poor hygiene, and very cramped living conditions. I was not allowed to work. I stayed there for seven months, thanks to the little financial support of my uncle from Syria.

Then, for a fee, I found a way to get to Germany with other refugees by car via Romania, Hungary and Austria. In Munich, I was stopped by the police. All my identification papers were taken away directly, and I was sent to a nearby camp by force. Under the very harsh tone and handling by the police, my nerves went through the roof. I became very afraid and was longing for a familiar person. Consequently, I didn’t go to the camp, but to my cousin in Leer in East Frisia for 25 days.

Arrival in Hamburg

After being registered as an asylum seeker in Bielefeld, I was officially transferred to Hamburg. I stayed six weeks in the camp in Alsterdorf, eleven months in the Stellingen Arena camp and eight months in Wilhelmsburg. There I got new identity papers and a valid passport with which I could have worked. On 13.07.2015 there was unfortunately a major fire in the container village. Several containers (including mine) burned down together with my belongings and papers – even my identity papers were destroyed. The immigration & registration office refused to issue me new identity papers. Instead, I had to apply for a new toleration (Editor’s note: temporary leave to remain) every four weeks, and later every three months.

My current toleration with threat of deportation to Bulgaria was only valid for 15 days and expired on 02.06.17. I am currently in a hospital in Hamburg and in need of therapeutic and psychological treatment. The stress of the last few years and of course the longing for my family, whom I have not seen in four years, as well as the knowledge that a current return to my home country would mean certain death, have taken their toll on me. I am in a very fragile physical and mental condition.

Question

Travel or expulsion would be unthinkable. Can you help me? I urgently ask for your assistance.

Answer

Dear Rudy,

first of all, you are in principle entitled to the issuance of new residence papers. Unfortunately, I do not know whether you have been recognized as a refugee or have subsidiary protection. If you are still in the asylum procedure, you would have a residence permit until your procedure at the BAMF (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees) is completed.

Since the Immigration & Registration Office told you that you should apply for toleration every 4 weeks, you are probably not (anymore) in the asylum procedure. Or you have received a negative decision from the BAMF at some point. Against a negative decision there is the possibility to file a complaint before the competent administrative court. However, the deadlines are very short.

Dublin case

Since you officially gave your fingerprints in Bulgaria, you are a so-called „Dublin case“. This means that your asylum procedure must be carried out in the country within the EU that you first entered (your fingerprints, which are now in the EURODAC file, serve as proof): and in your case, unfortunately, that was Bulgaria. The BAMF then checks whether you will be deported to Bulgaria. And that seems to have been affirmed in your case.

Notification to the BAMF and Immigration & Registration Office

But do not worry! First, you have to inform the BAMF and the Immigration & Registration Office here in Hamburg that you are in the hospital and are being treated for your mental condition. You can make an affidavit stating everything that happened to you in Bulgaria. Or you can submit certificates and expert opinions from your doctors.

At the beginning of April 2017, the Administrative Court of Hanover ruled that deportation to Bulgaria is prohibited because of inhumane and existentially threatening treatment there (AZ 15B2468/17). This ban on deportation is incontestable and unlimited in time. Currently, no members of particularly vulnerable groups (traumatized, mentally ill, etc.) are deported to Bulgaria. I would recommend you submit certificates from your doctors to the BAMF and the Immigration & Registration Office and to get a good lawyer in asylum law.

Good luck and above all get well soon!

This article was first published in German and Tim Wacker translated it

Andere Kulturen und Menschen haben Angelika schon immer interessiert. Sie ist viel gereist und hat im Ausland gelebt. Als Rechtsanwältin ist sie auf Asyl- und Ausländerrecht spezialisiert. 2017 hat sie das Flüchtling-Magazin mit gegründet und ist seitdem für die Finanzierung und alle rechtlichen Aspekte zuständig. Bei kohero beantwortet sie die rechtlichen Fragen aus unserer Community. „kohero ist ein großartiges Medium für Geflüchtete und für Deutsche, um sich besser kennen zu lernen und die jeweils andere Kultur zu verstehen.“
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Andere Kulturen und Menschen haben Angelika schon immer interessiert. Sie ist viel gereist und hat im Ausland gelebt. Als Rechtsanwältin ist sie auf Asyl- und Ausländerrecht spezialisiert. 2017 hat sie das Flüchtling-Magazin mit gegründet und ist seitdem für die Finanzierung und alle rechtlichen Aspekte zuständig. Bei kohero beantwortet sie die rechtlichen Fragen aus unserer Community. „kohero ist ein großartiges Medium für Geflüchtete und für Deutsche, um sich besser kennen zu lernen und die jeweils andere Kultur zu verstehen.“

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