01:17 GMT +317 July 2019
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    Refugee crisis

    'Ukrainians' Who Got Asylum in Germany as Syrian Refugees Now Claim to Be Kurds

    © Flickr / Natalia Tsoukala/Caritas International, January 2016
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    The case of a Ukrainian family posing as Syrian refugees in order to receive asylum status in Germany caused shock among many German residents. However, Sputnik Germany learned new details to the story, which showed that the situation is not as simple as it might seem.

    A Ukrainian family was reported to have entered Germany in September 2014 and deceived local authorities, applying for refugee status as Syrians.

    After the "truth" came to light, the family was deprived of asylum status granted by the German authorities a couple of years ago.

    The family filed a lawsuit against the decision of the authorities and appealed to the legal principle of legitimate expectations.

    "A message came from the district of Borken, which in turn received a message from the city of Rede about the fact that the plaintiffs are, very likely, not Syrian citizens," the judge of the administrative court in Munster, Svenja Kreft, told Sputnik Germany.

    However, at a hearing in the administrative court in Munster that took place on Monday, the father of the family showed evidence that all family members are Kurds from Syria.

    "I believe that my client answered the questions of the court and the federal department correctly. He could without any doubts describe his village and his neighbors in detail. We have birth confirmations, family books from Syria and much more. The whole story is based on a false denunciation of an Arab [living in the same refugee facility], which was sufficient to recall the refugee status," the family's lawyer Baris Yesil told Sputnik Germany.

    The problem is that the family members don't have passports or IDs, because for Kurds in Syria they just do not exist.

    "Originally there were Kurds from Turkey who arrived in Syria in the early 19th century. After the end of World War II, they remained there, but the Syrian state never recognized the Kurds as Syrians and did not register them. Only after the war, some of them were registered, but most continued living there without documents," Yesil explained.

    The future fate of the family remains unknown. Previously, both parents worked, made payments to social insurance funds, while their children attended school.
    With the withdrawal of the refugee status, the German authorities literally deprive the family of their previous life.

    "Probably, they will receive only a delay in deportation and won't be able to work anymore," Yesil said. "And by the way, where would they send the family? They can't enter Syria, and they won't be able to send them to Ukraine either, because they do not have Ukrainian documents," he added.

    After the hearing, the court insisted on a language expert to conduct a language test and decide which part of Syria or Kurdistan the family was from. However, Yesil considers the language expertise to be meaningless.

    According to him, it is impossible to determine the origin of the family based on the language test. There are numerous dialects in the Kurdish language, and it is very difficult to correlate them with a certain territory, the lawyer said.

    Related:

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    asylum, family, Ukraine, Syria, Germany
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