BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You

world

Germany Will Help A Leader Wanted For Genocide Build Detention Camps For Refugees

Not kidding.

Posted on May 17, 2016, at 7:02 a.m. ET

The members of the European Union really, really don't want refugees.

More than 1 million asylum-seekers arrived in Europe from Turkey last year, most of whom crossed the sea from Turkey in rubber boats. In March, the EU agreed to pay nearly $7 billion over the next two years to Turkey. In exchange, Turkey agreed to accept refugees Europe decides to send back.The EU also recently proposed that member countries refusing to accept some of these people for relocation pay a "solidarity contribution" of nearly $300,000 per head.
Alexander Koerner / Getty Images

More than 1 million asylum-seekers arrived in Europe from Turkey last year, most of whom crossed the sea from Turkey in rubber boats. In March, the EU agreed to pay nearly $7 billion over the next two years to Turkey. In exchange, Turkey agreed to accept refugees Europe decides to send back.

The EU also recently proposed that member countries refusing to accept some of these people for relocation pay a "solidarity contribution" of nearly $300,000 per head.

So much so that now the Germans are going to help a world leader wanted for genocide set up "closed detention camps" in his country.

Classified documents obtained by German magazine Der Spiegel and broadcaster ARD reveal the secret European plan to send cameras, scanners, and servers for refugee registration to Sudan, which is the transit point for refugees from East and Central Africa moving through the desert to Libya to cross the sea to Italy. The plan also includes assistance from Germany's international development arm, GIZ, to set up two detention camps for refugees in Sudan.Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, has been indicted on three counts of genocide by the International Criminal Court. He's twice evaded arrest during diplomatic travel, once in South Africa and once, just last week, in Uganda.
Gael Grilhot / AFP / Getty Images

Classified documents obtained by German magazine Der Spiegel and broadcaster ARD reveal the secret European plan to send cameras, scanners, and servers for refugee registration to Sudan, which is the transit point for refugees from East and Central Africa moving through the desert to Libya to cross the sea to Italy.

The plan also includes assistance from Germany's international development arm, GIZ, to set up two detention camps for refugees in Sudan.

Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, has been indicted on three counts of genocide by the International Criminal Court. He's twice evaded arrest during diplomatic travel, once in South Africa and once, just last week, in Uganda.

The plan was supposed to remain a secret, according to classified documents obtained by German media. "Europe's reputation could be at stake," one high-level EU staffer said.

"'Under no circumstances' should the public learn what was said at the talks that took place on March 23rd, the European Commission warned during the meeting of the Permanent Representatives Committee," Der Spiegel reported.According to the magazine, a staffer for Federica Mogherini, pictured here, who is the EU high representative for foreign affairs, "warned that Europe's reputation could be at stake."Der Spiegel said the plan outlines $45 million for eight countries it calls "dictatorships" in the Horn of Africa — a region that includes Eritrea, an authoritarian country known for human rights abuses — and Somalia, which has been at war for more than two decades.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

"'Under no circumstances' should the public learn what was said at the talks that took place on March 23rd, the European Commission warned during the meeting of the Permanent Representatives Committee," Der Spiegel reported.

According to the magazine, a staffer for Federica Mogherini, pictured here, who is the EU high representative for foreign affairs, "warned that Europe's reputation could be at stake."

Der Spiegel said the plan outlines $45 million for eight countries it calls "dictatorships" in the Horn of Africa — a region that includes Eritrea, an authoritarian country known for human rights abuses — and Somalia, which has been at war for more than two decades.

The EU knows it might not be the best idea to give surveillance and detention equipment to governments accused of genocide and torture.

"The equipment could be used to oppress the population," the documents say, according to ARD.You'd be hard-pressed to find a country in the Horn of Africa that isn't described in human rights reviews as practicing torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, censorship, harassment of political opposition, or even extrajudicial killing.
Ashraf Shazly / AFP / Getty Images

"The equipment could be used to oppress the population," the documents say, according to ARD.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a country in the Horn of Africa that isn't described in human rights reviews as practicing torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, censorship, harassment of political opposition, or even extrajudicial killing.

But the EU just doesn’t seem to care.

The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development told Der Spiegel that the plan is "binding," although decisions about implementation have not been made.
Ashraf Shazly / AFP / Getty Images

The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development told Der Spiegel that the plan is "binding," although decisions about implementation have not been made.

The secret EU deal could lay the groundwork for a mass transfer of asylum-seekers back to Sudan.

Ibrahim Ghandour, Sudan's foreign minister, told ARD: "The [EU] Migration Commissioner in Brussels asked me, 'We have 12,000 illegal migrants from Sudan in the EU. Are you ready to take them back?' I told him, 'Immediately. On your word, we'll welcome them.'"It's against international law to return refugees without investigating and ruling on their asylum claim.
Khaled Desouki / AFP / Getty Images

Ibrahim Ghandour, Sudan's foreign minister, told ARD: "The [EU] Migration Commissioner in Brussels asked me, 'We have 12,000 illegal migrants from Sudan in the EU. Are you ready to take them back?' I told him, 'Immediately. On your word, we'll welcome them.'"

It's against international law to return refugees without investigating and ruling on their asylum claim.

Sudan says it’s planning to keep people in the new camps indefinitely — and the Europeans know that.

Sudanese officials told German reporters that Sudan has recently hosted numerous German visitors to discuss building the camps."What we've told the Germans delegation is, the refugees should stay in the camps, so their needs can be looked after, and they can participate in income-generating projects," a Sudanese immigration official told ARD. "The goal is that the refugees won't leave the new camps. We've discussed all of this thoroughly with the German delegation."Human rights organizations like the International Committee of the Red Cross say indefinite detention violates international law.
Ashraf Shazly / AFP / Getty Images

Sudanese officials told German reporters that Sudan has recently hosted numerous German visitors to discuss building the camps.

"What we've told the Germans delegation is, the refugees should stay in the camps, so their needs can be looked after, and they can participate in income-generating projects," a Sudanese immigration official told ARD. "The goal is that the refugees won't leave the new camps. We've discussed all of this thoroughly with the German delegation."

Human rights organizations like the International Committee of the Red Cross say indefinite detention violates international law.

ARD's "Report Mainz" investigation into the deal airs tonight in Germany.

Thanks to Lee Crawfurd for drawing our attention to this.

ADVERTISEMENT