Germany ready to accept Russian deserters and conscientious objectors
Germany is ready, under certain conditions, to give asylum to defectors from the Russian army and “opponents of Putin’s regime,” said Interior Minister Nancy Faeser.
“As a rule, deserters threatened by severe repressions will receive international protection in Germany,” Faeser stated in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. “Anyone who courageously opposes Putin’s regime and thereby puts oneself in great danger can apply for asylum in Germany because of political persecution,” she added.
Pro Asyl, a German immigrant advocacy organization, made a similar statement, calling on all EU countries to grant asylum to Russians trying to escape coercive mobilization.
“Our goal is to ensure that conscientious objectors and deserters from the Ukraine war are granted uncomplicated protection and asylum,” reads the letter to members of the Bundestag signed by Pro Asyl and around 40 other German peace, human rights, and advocacy organizations.
A press release published by Pro Asyl notes also that conscientious objection is a human right affirmed by the European Court of Human Rights, and “must be enforced in all countries, including those at war.” “Those who refuse to serve with weapons for reasons of conscience and are persecuted for it must be protected,” the document says.
Pro Asyl’s initiative was supported by members of Germany’s Free Democratic Party and the Green Party.
In response to this discussion, the Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky stated that Czech authorities will not grant humanitarian visas to Russians escaping from the draft.
“I understand that Russians are running from Putin’s more and more desperate decisions. But those who flee their country because they don’t want to fulfill their duties there do not meet the criteria for a humanitarian visa,” Lipavsky noted.