Protests against the deportation of school girls in Austria | Free press

A nighttime deportation flight of children and their families caused a stir in Austria. But school colleagues made mobile.

Vienna (dpa) – The overnight deportation of three school girls and their families to Georgia and Armenia has sparked protests in Austria.

Some 160 people, including politicians from the Social Democratic SPÖ, the Greens and the liberal Neos, stood in front of the deportation center in Vienna in particular for one of the affected families, police reported Thursday.

This family had lived with short interruptions in Austria since 2006. Some protesters tried to prevent the police convoy from leaving with a sit-in and bulky items. After the action ended, the family was deported. Sharp criticism of the actions of the conservative ÖVP-led Ministry of Interior came from the green coalition partner.

Many school colleagues and teachers of the Austrian-born twelve-year-old student argued in vain for the high school student’s right of residence. The Ministry of the Interior referred to several Supreme Court rulings that provided for an expulsion.

As the APA news agency reported, the Georgian family had been illegal in Austria for four years. Only the father is legal in the country on a tourist visa. The federal administrative court ruled in the asylum procedure that the long stay was due not least to persistent non-compliance with official requirements.

The case also appears to be creating tensions within the conservative ÖVP and Green governments. In the run-up to this, the Greens had campaigned for the well-integrated family and for a “human solution.”

The ÖVP defended the proceedings based on the current legal situation. Green Vice-Chancellor Kogler called the deportation “inhumane and irresponsible”. Speaking to Conservative Interior Minister Karl Nehammer, Kogler said, “There is no mandatory legal obligation to deport schoolchildren who grew up here in Austria and who are well integrated.” On social media, many people were outraged by the police crackdown amid the pandemic.

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