World, Europe

Austria tilting law against Syrian asylum-seekers

Vienna says readmission deal with Syrian regime in the works to expel asylum-seekers who commit crimes

17.01.2019
Austria tilting law against Syrian asylum-seekers Austrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl

By Askin Kiyagan

VIENNA 

The Austrian government is seemingly determined to make it easier to expel Syrian asylum-seekers.

Interior Minister Herbert Kickl said Thursday that he believes a readmission agreement with the Syrian regime will be very effective.

Speaking to Kronen daily, Kickl claimed an increase in the crime rate due to foreigners has been seen in the past year and so the government is set to take emergency security measures.

Elaborating on Austria’s widely-criticized asylum law that allows the deportation of asylum-seekers whose requests are denied as well as those who have committed major crimes, Kickl said that the readmission agreement with the Syrian regime may take some time and the option to deport to a third country will be considered in the meantime.

"We will keep asylum-seekers who are convicted or prone to violence at transit zones such as airports where they will have only one option ahead, to go back to their countries," said Kickl.

He also recently told the media that his government is working to legislate tougher asylum laws which won't forgive even petty crimes.

According to the UN Refugee Convention, host countries can only deport migrants who have been convicted of "a particularly serious crime" such as murder, rape or armed robbery, but not lesser crimes.

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