Every year PRO ASYL receives thousands of phone calls, letters and emails from refugees and their relatives. Wherever possible, our advisors give practical support. They assist with legal and social questions and connect inquirers with local advisory services.
We stand by refugees in their asylum procedures with financial resources from our legal assistance fund. They are often desperate because the authorities and courts deny them the protection they urgently need. Their reasons for fleeing are questioned, reports of torture and rape are ignored. Time and again, we find that our intervention brings about a turning-point: with our support, procedures often end successfully for the individuals concerned.
16-year-old Fahru Ali* from Somalia escaped his Islamist persecutors at the last minute. His father, two sisters and two brothers had already been killed. The family business – a cinema – was a provocation to the Jihadists. Fahru Ali landed at Frankfurt airport and applied for asylum. Yet the authorities did not pass on his application and detained him there, although he was still a minor. PRO ASYL managed to obtain protection for him.
We accompany individuals right up to the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe or the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg. Sometimes such proceedings have a great political impact. For example, in early 2011 the European Court stopped deportations to Greece on grounds of violating the European Convention on Human Rights. In its grounds for decision, the Court expressly mentioned the documentation and research provided by PRO ASYL.
Reza Ibrahim was six years old when he and his mother fled from Afghanistan to Iran, in order to escape the Taliban. Ten years later Reza managed to cross the Aegean Sea to Greece, where the coastguard locked him up. Time and again, Reza was subject to violent treatment – in Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary. In 2014 he finally made it to Germany, after 16 years of being on the move. According to the EU’s Dublin Regulation, he should have been sent back to Hungary. Finally the attempt to return him was stopped and Reza’s asylum case is now going ahead in Germany.
In December 2011, the Court of Justice of the European Union found that it was unlawful to return refugees to other EU states on the basis of the Dublin Regulation without examining their case – also drawing on information from PRO ASYL. Legal proceedings with our support in such individual cases can have enormous impacts on the chances of other refugees.
Si Thin Thai*, a young woman from Burmah, took part in a demonstration for democratic change. When soldiers attacked the demonstrators she fled to her brother’s in the countryside. Shortly afterwards, soldiers abducted him to do forced labour. Si Thin Thai was able to hide in a Buddhist monastery. Months later, she managed to flee to Germany. Yet her asylum application was rejected. PRO ASYL took up her cause – and she obtained asylum.
Our legal assistance fund, e.g. for lawyers’ fees, and our assistance for individual cases are financed by members’ contributions and donations.