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Caritas: Authorities lied about deportations

By Samantha Mitchell,


Authorities lied to us about the deportation of the “abbey asylum seekers” from Pakistan, says Caritas.

In an interview with “Heute” newspaper, general secretary Klaus Schwertner said his catholic charity had been assured by authorities that there were no plans to go ahead with the deportations.

He said: “A few days ago authorities assured us there were no immediate plans for deportation. We were lied to.”

In March 2013 8 Pakistani asylum seekers were moved from the Votivkirche church in Vienna to Serviten abbey.

They were recently arrested and yesterday four were deported, which prompted several protests in the city, including at the internal ministry and the airport.

Head of the asylum office, Wolfgang Taucher said Austria was right to act as it did.
He said: “We made many offers for them to return [to their home country] on a voluntary basis” and that their asylum cannot be granted as “they have not yet fulfilled the necessary criteria.”

Caritas is arguing that it is currently not safe for the men to return to Pakistan, and that the asylum authorities are not taking this into consideration.

During the protests yesterday one police offer knocked a young lady to the ground.
The moment was captured on video an uploaded onto You-Tube.

In response the police said that “the officer offered to call for emergency assistance, but she rejected this and ran away.”

Police say they are now conducting an internal inquiry into the affair.

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