Sutha is a Tamil man held in the deportation prison in Pforzheim in the south of Germany. He is scheduled to be deported to Sri Lanka on the Wednesday 3rd of May, accompanied by medical personnel and police officers. This is not the first time that they tried to deport him.
The first time his deportation was attempted, the airline had refused to take him because it was clear that he was in distress and was being deported against his will. The second time they had arranged a flight where the airline and the crew were more amenable. This time, after he had spent a month in the deportation prison, the stress had caused Sutha to be ill and the deportation had to be aborted because he was vomiting blood and clearly had heart pain. In fact, he had to stay in the emergency ward in hospital for one night. Despite the fact that the doctor in the deportation prison has said that his repeatedly occurring heart pain is caused by him ‘thinking too much’ they are attempting to deport him again – this time with the accompaniment of medical staff.
Now, after being in deportation prison again for over a month (for the second time since end of December 2022), with his psychological condition and the resulting physical pain in his chest much worse, they are preparing to deport him in a few days – on the 3rd May.
Sutha was born in Jaffna and was in his early teens when the internationally mediated peace talks in Sri Lanka started in 2002. He, like many in the island, was hopeful that after decades of continuous violence there was a real possibility for a negotiated solution to the conflict in the island. However, just when he was 18, the international support for the peace process collapsed, triggering a war of extermination against the Tamil people in the Vanni – the area that was self-administered by the Tamils. Although Sutha lived in Jaffna, and not in the Vanni, his family, like the vast majority of the Jaffna population politically supported the Tamil liberation movement. Two of his brothers and many of his relatives were actively engaged with the movement.
The war resulted in the destruction of the liberation movement and what the Sri Lankan regime considered the social and political base of the Tamil struggle. In 2009, out of a population in the Vanni of a little over 400,000, a considerable proportion (70,000 to 140,000) people were massacred and all of the remaining people were put in concentration camps for over 6 months – undergoing interrogations under horrific conditions see https://www.ptsrilanka.org).
With the liberation movement liquidated in the Vanni, the Sinhala armed forces expanded its attention on Jaffna and other areas scouring for supporters of the Tamil Tigers. Young men like Sutha (then 20) were prime suspects and faced arrests and interrogation continuously. Sutha felt his acute vulnerability after his friend had disappeared and Sutha himself began to face harassment, interrogations, and threats by the army. At this point he decided to flee – to Switzerland or Germany, because many Tamils knew that Germany had supported the peace process – specially at the very beginning – and assumed sympathy for the plight of the Tamils.
Sutha is deeply traumatised by the imminent deportation to Sri Lanka, and his long-term incarceration in the deportation prison has made him ill, psychologically, and physically. He clearly has a well-founded fear of persecution – which is the internationally accepted basis of political asylum.
New development: Due to his difficult psychosocial condition, Sutha’s lawyer has now filed an urgent application for the assignment of a guardian for him. The lawyer has argued that it would not be justifiable to leave him to his fate alone in this situation without intensive support, which he clearly needs. Since Sutha has registered his agreement the application for care has been submitted and the process for its implementation is not underway. This new legal step makes it all the more clearer how irresponsible it would be to deport Sutha – to a country that, due to the economic crisis, still cannot provide sufficient medical and, above all, psychological care, especially for Tamils who are in need. We therefore emphatically demand: Sutha must be released from deportation custody immediately.
Stop his deportation to Sri Lanka!
We call people, in solidarity, groups, associations etc. or as an individual to support Sutha in his fight against this inhumane deportation! Please send us a video solidarity statement and/or a letter to the German authorities demanding that Sutha be released from detention and granted asylum in Germany.
Address your letters of protest to: email@example.com.
Please also send a copy to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can additionally fax all letters to the authorities, as mails are often not read in time. Further, please let us know if you agree that we publish your video or written statements on our website (https://humanrights.de).