"International law obliges Germany to accept its citizens, even if they were or are terrorists", a member of the Karlsruhe and Ankara Bar Associations, lawyer Memet Kilic has told Sputnik.
The lawyer from the law firm Kilic & Kilic law said that Germany had overlooked two points:
"On the one hand, Germany has not been preventing Daesh sympathisers and supporters from leaving the country since 2011. (...) That was a mistake in my view. Furthermore, Germany did not double-check whether these people are still its citizens. And this must be done. If they still come back, then it is possible to apply the criminal code to Daesh supporters. However finding evidence could still prove to be difficult", Kilic said.
Last Thursday, the Turkish authorities sent seven alleged Daesh supporters to Berlin. According to media reports, this was a "German-Iraqi family from Salafi circles from the city of Hildesheim". Germany's State Criminal Police Office in Lower Saxony claims that the Salafists are now under control.
Earlier, the Syrian Arab Armed Forces backed by the Russian military, present in Syria at the invitation of Bashar al-Assad, managed to defeat the Daesh terrorist group in the country. Since then, Daesh has failed to recover from this defeat and is gradually losing ground; its fighters are now seeking to return to their home countries from those regions previously controlled by Daesh.
"Observing Daesh Returnees Costs a Lot of Time and Money"
Lawyer Memet Kilic stressed that it is impossible to prosecute someone in Germany without compelling reasons, but added that when there is evidence, monitoring these people takes staff, time, and nerves.
He noted, however, that the criminal code has other articles and clauses, under which Daesh returnees who have committed crimes in other countries can be prosecuted. Those persons who have not committed crimes, of course, have the right to re-acquire German citizenship:
"The government must ensure that citizenship is only given back to persons who have not violated the Constitution", Kilic emphasised, adding that many in Germany have long been afraid that Daesh returnees and terrorists coming back to Germany "will go unpunished".
According to the lawyer, the German authorities must make sure whether these people are still German citizens, or if they have lost their citizenship for one reason or another. This, however, has not yet been done.
"A person can lose German citizenship if he or she receives the citizenship of any other country upon personal application without informing the German authorities. Some Daesh fighters did that", Kilic noted.
"German Citizenship by Deception"
Referring to assessments by other legal experts, Memet Kilic said that Daesh could now be called a non-entity. However, in his opinion, this argument is not very convincing because legislators will look at the person in question's loyalty to Daesh turn:
"In such cases, later naturalised Daesh supporters could turn their backs on Germany and directly oppose it. They should initially demonstrate their loyalty to the Constitution. But this is no longer possible because they have acquired German citizenship by deception. This has already been determined by the Federal Administrative Court in a ruling from 11 November 2010".
The court's decision stated that if German citizenship was acquired by deceptive means, this was in principle not a violation of the law if the state took away the citizenship earlier granted to the person, the lawyer noted.
Turkey Deports Terrorists: Maas Appeals to Erdogan
In mid-November, Ankara announced it would deport Daesh fighters and their family members with German citizenship back to Germany. The federal authorities estimate that there are more than 130 Daesh* fighters or supporters who left Germany and are currently located in Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. Ninety-five of them are German citizens and only 33 of them are being prosecuted by the German Prosecutor General.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) earlier urged Turkey to provide Berlin with information about the planned deportation of alleged Daesh supporters. According to him, if individuals were connected with Daesh, then the state must make sure to hold them accountable in Germany.
However, that requires enough evidence to convince the courts, he said late last week. According to Maas, the goal is to reintegrate these people into society and prevent them from returning to Islamic or extremist organisations in the future.
By Alexander Boos
*Daesh (also known as IS/ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State) is a terrorist group banned in Russia
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