Lufthansa: Stop deportations!

Pro Bleiberecht supports the campainghe "Lufthansa deportation-free!" by No Border AssemblyLufthansa is the German company, that benefits the most from deportations. And that for decades. 5,885 people were forced on their planes in 2019. The Lufthansa press spokesman recently mentioned in an interview that they are happy that they have not been the target of protests for a long time. Time to change that!

Call to Action in Social Media on 27th July 2020

Twitter storm: Share news against the deportation profit making of Lufthansa on as many platforms as possible! Use the hashtags #abchiebefrei #SayNoToDeportations on Twitter. You can contact Lufthansa directly in the tweets with @Lufthansa_DE.

The No Border Assembly provides tweets & sharepics that you can use under the following Twitter account: @NoBorder_Berlin. You are welcome to create your own content using the hashtags!

In order to eliminate structural racism, all of its instruments must be shown and abolished. The next logical step seems to be to point out the role of Lufthansa in terms of deportation.

Press release and supporters

On Monday, July 27, 2020, the "No Border Assembly Berlin" group is launching the Lufthansa #Abschiebefrei campaign together with other organizations. It is directed against participation in deportations by Deutsche Lufthansa AG. In 2019, more than 25% (5,885 of 22,097) of deportations from Germany were carried out by Lufthansa [1]. In 2018 there were 6,025 people [2]. The alliance calls on Lufthansa to position itself clearly against racism and to no longer transport people against its will. More than 20 organizations across the country have already joined the campaign.

For many years, the airline has benefited from state payment for the forced transportation of people without German citizenship. The company has already been publicly charged with this in previous campaigns, but without having to stop the forced transport.

In the case of deportations by Lufthansa, there were already two documented deaths: In 1999, the Sudanese Aamir Ageeb was suffocated by the police when he was deported in a Lufthansa aircraft. Kola Bankole from Nigeria died in a similar manner in 1993 during a Lufthansa deportation [3]. The use of violence against deportees has increased massively in recent years according to a "small requests" ("Kleine Anfrage" in parliament) to the federal government - in 2019, 1,764 people were officially "assisted by physical violence" [4]. The incidence of racist police violence in deportations is likely to be significantly higher.

"Racist police violence on deportation flights is symptomatic of the neocolonial nature of deportations. To limit access to European wealth to the white descendants of the colonial powers, freedom of travel is made a privilege, and forced deportations are enforced by force. It is high time that Deportations are recognized for what they are: acts of racist violence, "explains Nadija Martin, spokeswoman for the campaign.

Airlines have the right to refuse to sell seats if they endanger passengers. Virgin Atlantic has not sold tickets for deportations from the UK and Australia since 2018. In 2019, six U.S. airlines, including United, Delta and American Airlines, informed that they would not carry children who were separated from their families at the U.S. borders. Lufthansa can and must follow their example!

Lufthansa Group pilots refused to transport deportees in 309 cases in 2019 [5]. The German pilot union Cockpit stands behind them and advised pilots years ago to refuse anyone on the plane who was there involuntarily. The international pilot union IFALPA also only allows voluntary travel. The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) has asked all commercial airlines to refuse to help with forced deportations.

As part of its restart after the Corona break, Lufthansa has the choice: "If Lufthansa is serious about taking on global social responsibility and dealing responsibly with its employees, it must stop selling tickets for deportations," said Martin.

Lufthansa says SayYesToTheWorld - We demand: #SayNoToDeportations!

No Border Assembly Berlin

Other signing organizations:
- Abschiebehaft Abschaffen Berlin-Brandenburg
- Afrique-Europe Interact
- Aktion Bleiberecht
- Anti-Deportation Café
- Arbeitskreis Kritische Soziale Arbeit Hannover
- Bayerischer Flüchtlingsrat
- Bürger*innenasyl Barnim
- Bürger*innenasyl Berlin
- Death in Custody – Aufklärung der Todesumstände in Gewahrsam Jetzt
- Exil - Osnabrücker Zentrum für Flüchtlinge e.V.
- Flüchtlingsrat Brandenburg
- Flüchtlingsrat Sachsen-Anhalt e.V.
- Flüchtlingsrat Hamburg e.V.
- Hannover Solidarisch
- Karawane München
- Kontakt- und Beratungsstelle für Flüchtlinge und Migrant_innen e.V.
- Medibüro Berlin | Netzwerk für das Recht auf Gesundheitsversorgung aller Migrant*innen
- PRO BLEIBERECHT Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
- Refugee Assembly Brandenburg
- Schlafplatzorga
- We’ll Come United Berlin – Brandenburg
- Hamid Nowzari, Verein iranischer Flüchtlinge in Berlin e.V.
- Vernetzung gegen Abschiebung Hessen und Mainz

[1] 4.573 Lufhansa-Flüge und 1.312 Flüge der Tochtergesellschaft Eurowings
[2] 5.045 Lufthansa-Flüge und 980 Flüge der Tochtergesellschaft Eurowings
[5] (Lufthansa und Tochtergesellschaften Eurowings, Air Dolomiti, Austrian Airlines und Swiss International)

Background information on police violence during deportations:
2018/2019, Europäisches Komitee zur Verhütung von Folter: Misshandlung von Abzuschiebenden, wie Schmerzgriffe in die Genitalien, unrechtmäßigen Abschiebungen
2018, Flüchtlingsrat: Familientrennung, Schläge, Zwangsmedikation
2019/2020, Abschiebungemonitoring Hamburg: Zwangsmedikation, Drohungen gegenüber Kindern, Zwangsmedikation