The shock of a girl killed in Illerkirchberg is still deep. Also in 2019, a terrible act had shaken the community. Four Afghan men raped a 14-year-old girl. Now a dispute has broken out about the deportation freeze to Afghanistan, but what do other refugees think about the debate?

The small community of Illerkirchberg near Ulm is still mourning. On December 5, a man from Eritrea is said to have attacked two girls with a knife on their way to school. One of the girls (14) died from her injuries, the second girl, 13 years old, was seriously injured. Arrest warrants for murder and attempted murder were issued against the 27-year-old Eritrean. According to the public prosecutor’s office, he is currently in a prison hospital and has not yet commented on the crime.

The case brings back bad memories in the community, because Illerkirchberg has already been in the public eye because of a similarly terrible act. In 2019, a 14-year-old from Illerkirchberg was lured by four Afghans to a home for asylum seekers and raped there. Two perpetrators who were not yet of legal age were sentenced to two years and three months in prison under juvenile criminal law. The two adults received sentences of two years and two months in prison.

One of the convicted men served his sentence in March 2022 and is living in Baden-Württemberg again. The country’s authorities are now trying to deport the Afghan to his homeland. As early as December 2021, a police report showed that another crime by the perpetrator was considered possible, reported the “Welt”.

However, the Federal Ministry of the Interior blocked the deportation. Deportations to the country have been suspended since the Taliban took over Afghanistan. Also to ensure the safety of the escorts. But also as a result of the actions in Illerkirchberg there is a debate about the position of the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD).

More and more voices are calling for the deportation of violent criminals despite the deportation freeze. Türbingen’s mayor, Boris Palmer, says he supports the deportation of criminals to wartime countries such as Syria or Afghanistan. “I too would describe the deportation of an innocent asylum seeker from Syria as inhumane. But different standards apply to violent criminals and murderers,” he wrote on Facebook. How do other refugee Afghans perceive the discussion in Germany?

Karim is 25 and fled Afghanistan five years ago and then came to Berlin. The man, who doesn’t want to give his full name in the media, is athletic and always well-groomed. Every curl sits perfectly on his head. He is ambitious and wants to achieve something in his new home. First Karim did an apprenticeship as an electronics technician and then got his technical diploma. Later he would like to study. In the afternoon he often goes to a language café to improve his German and English.

FOCUS online spoke to him about the violent crimes in Illerkirchberg and the resulting debate.

FOCUS online: Several of your compatriots raped a girl in 2019. A terrible act.

Karim: What happened there really shocked me. I can’t understand how anyone can do something like this. The perpetrators must be punished justly and understand that such crimes have no place here. Incidentally, they didn’t have that in my circle of acquaintances in Afghanistan either.

Like you, the perpetrators were Afghans, the alleged murderer of a girl in Illerkirchberg is a refugee from Eritrea. Are you afraid that you will also be seen with different eyes, that you will be treated differently because of such actions?

People who hate refugees will always find a reason to hate me. Then it doesn’t matter whether I come from Afghanistan, Syria or another country and what is currently being reported in the news. But I also notice that I am viewed differently after such actions. As if I should apologize for that.

How do you mean?

Sorry might not be the perfect word. But I’m expected to present myself differently. I have to work even harder and be the perfectly integrated foreigner who just can’t stand out. And crimes like that only make it worse, of course. Because of some bad guys, we’re all lumped together.

Most foreigners are normal people who just want to live their everyday lives. Extremes are often talked about. We’re either dangerous criminals or top-integrated chief physicians. The truth usually lies somewhere in between.

Learn more about the history and culture of Afghanistan (Advertisement)

The rapists are now at large and live in Germany. Do you think they should be deported?

For me there should be clear boundaries. If, for example, a child has stolen something from a refugee home, then of course it cannot be deported immediately. But in the case of a terrible act like the rape in Illerkirchberg, I can understand why deportation is discussed.

But we know how the situation in Afghanistan is right now. Death and torture are commonplace. I don’t know if I wish these criminals dead right away. That’s why you have to look very carefully at who is being deported.

So you’re not fundamentally against deportation?

No, but deportation to Afghanistan should remain an isolated case. And there should only be an exception for serious criminals. If a perpetrator shows no remorse after his sentence and is still willing to use violence – and that’s how it seems with the Afghans in Illerkirchberg – then I think deportation is justified.