FAQ about Deportation Alarm

Analysis of Deportation Alarm’s data gathering

Every 6 months, a parliamentary request is made to reveal official government data about deportations from Germany. This allows us to double-check our monitoring and verify our data. The last information revealed in parliament concerns the time period between January until November 2023. Here some percentages on how Deportation Alarm’s work relates to officialy verified data:

🟡 Deportation Alarm’s monitoring ➤ 94%
(government data showed we missed 13 flights between Jan-Nov 2023)
🟡 Deportation Alarm’s pre-warnings ➤ 74%
(3 out of every 4 deportation charters, Deportation Alarm published an alarm at least 5 hours pre-departure)
🟡 Unverified Alarms ➤ 2.6%
(Deportation Alarm published 4 alarms between Jan-Nov 2023 that could not be confirmed. Additionally 4 alarms were verified as last-minute canceled flights)

What is a “Charter-Deportation”?

A charter-deportation is when police rents a whole plane for a deportation, sometimes a mini-charter of 1 or 2 people, sometimes a mass-deportation of more than 100 people. This means this flight has no regular flight passengers. Usually police does many deportation raids the night and sometimes the week before departure, in an attempt to fill the plane as much as possible. Besides much police, there often are medical staff, translators and FRONTEX monitors present during such large operations.

Do we have alarms for all charter-deportations?

We rely on sources to inform us about dates of upcoming charter-deportations. We will only publish an alarm when we are able to verify the information and know with certainty that a flight is planned. When we have not published an alarm, it means we received no verified information about it. Currently we have been able to publish an alarm for between 70% to 80% of all deportation charterflights at least 5 hours before departure.

Are all deportations done on charterflights?

No! Between 40% to 50% of deportations from Germany happen on chartered planes. The majority of deportations happen on regular commercial flights, when one person gets deported among other passengers going on their holidays. There are also deportations happening over land or sea. We do not have warnings for deportations on passenger flights, since we only get such information when someone is already arrested and deportations on passenger flights are usually single deportations: hence an alarm would not be a relevant warning for someone else.

When do we have alarms about upcoming charter-deportations?

We publish an alarm as soon as we can confirm it is planned to take place. We have no more information than that is published on our website. In rare cases when we know about an upcoming charterflight date months early, we usually publish it on our social media 2 to 3 weeks before departure.

Are all alarms really happening? Do we have false alarms?

Besides publishing alarms, we monitor whether deportation charterflights really took place. On the bottom of our website you can find a list with additional info about these charters after they departed, like what time did the plane take-off, from which airport and with which airline. If we have not been able to monitor a flight that we had an alarm for, or or if we can confirm a last-minute cancelation of the charterflight, this will be notified in the same list on our website. We rarely have false alarms, but for example in 2023 there were 4 alarms out of 166 that we were not able to confirm to have taken place.

Why are we publishing alarms for upcoming deportations?

We believe in full freedom of movement for all and the complete abolition of borders. European nation-states are based on the brutal colonial and racist division of the world to preserve the privileges of some of us, while removing with violence those of us not complying with their system of borders and exclusion. Resistance against deportation happens everyday, more than half of deportation attempts fail – the largest part of this resistance is not being at home during midnight deportation raids by police. We publish dates of upcoming deportation charterflights to support this resistance of hiding from deportation. In addition, we hope to increase resistance at airports as well as against the airlines who profit from deportation.

What happens during a charter-deportation?

Usually at night, police sends out their squads. Deportation raids happen violently when police take people from their beds to be forced either to a deportation prison, or directly to the plane. People’s phones are often taken away by police. Usually police takes people to the airport around 5 hours before departure in a building often called the “Rückführungsgebäude” on or near airport grounds. In this building, everyone is seated in a waiting room and police does their paperwork. Here, colaborating “doctors” do a full body check of everyone set to be deported, meaning people often have to strip naked in front of a bunch of police. Also, police asseses who gets handcuffed or chained, and how many police officers get allocated to each person. Sometimes other EU countries also fly people over for a deportation charterflight since Germany is the central organiser of such flights. Around an hour before departure, people are taken from the “Rückführungsgebäude” to the plane.

How do we know about the dates of upcoming deportation charterflights?

We rely on sources to share information about upcoming charterflights. When police imprisons someone before a deportation, a court document has to be shared with the person imprisoned (or their lawyer) and in this document the date of deportation has to be shared as juridical basis for imprisonment. The more people share such documents with us, the more alarms we can publish.

How to share info with us about upcoming charter-deportations?

If you have info about an upcoming deportation charterflight, you are very welcome to email us at deportationalarm |A| systemli.org ! Please check first whether it is certainly a charterflight and not a single deportation on a regular passenger flight. Also, we need to be able to verify your information, so send us a picture of the document with the relevant information. Please do not have visible names or other personal information in the picture. Besides the date of deportation, we are also interested to know from which airport the flight departs and at which time (in case this info is specified in the document).

Why do we monitor which airlines are used?

Even if states are the ones deciding about deportations, we believe racist government and capitalism are heavily linked. Airlines are profiteering from deportations and by renting out their planes for this, they are complicit in this racist system. By naming deportation airlines, we aim to shame them and invite activists to hold these airlines accountable for their actions. As past experiences have shown, with enough pressure, airlines can drop out of doing deportations and in the long term, the state could have no available airlines to make happen their racist policies of expulsion.

What is the legal risk of publishing dates of charter-deportations?

None, there is no law against publishing deportation dates, nor is their any risk for someone affected, a lawyer, a pilot, a translator or a social worker to share such information with us. Only people that work within government institutions are forbidden to share this info, so in case you work for “Ausländerbehörde” and wish to leak info with us: better write us securely and with encryption.

What can I do when fighting against my own deportation?

No Border Assembly gathered info on tactics of resistance many people are using, you can find them in many languages here.

What is a “Mini-Charter”?

The state defines a “Mini-Charter” as a deportation by charter-plane of 4 people or less. These “mini-charters” happen regularly, often on smaller planes. When we know it is a mini-charter, we add this info to our alarm. Sometimes mini-charters happen on giant planes, like on 14.12.2021 when Germany rented a whole Boeing 747 with 202 seats to deport two people to Kazakhstan and paid Titan Airways 105.755 EUR for this.

What is a “Dublin-Charter”?

An EU regulation, called the “Dublin agreement” attempts to force people into asking for asylum in the first EU country entered (or at least the first EU country to get finger-printed). For many people this means Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania or Greece. Germany tries to deport people to these countries, if the asylum office (BAMF) finds that you are fingerprinted there. You will get a letter if Germany will attempt a Dublin procedure. Many Dublin-deportations are done through regular passengers flights, but there are also regular Dublin-charters (at the moment of writing) to Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia.

Please note that also alarms for deportations of people with a protection status in another EU-country will be tagged as a “Dublin-Charter” even though it is not a deportation under the Dublin-III-regulation but simply a deportation to another EU-member state.

What is meant when we designate a charter-deportation as “ongoing”?

Sometimes we only find out about a planned charterflight, when people are already being brought to the airport and departure time is in 5 hours (or less). In this case, we perceive our alarms to be late since all police raids already happened. We still publish an alarm with the note “ongoing”, but these alarms are not counted in our calculation of how many flights we had an alarm for.

How to support us?

First of all, get active and work together! Resistance against deportation happens everyday, mostly done by people affected themselves. This racist system of deportation only stands because the majority in Germany allows it. When more of us stand in the way and get organised, we believe in the possibility of abolishing all deportations.

⚫ if you have verifiable info about an upcoming deportation charterflight, email us deportationalarm |A| systemli.org
⚫ spread info about our channel in Lagers and through your networks
⚫ get some of our stickers and place them in relevant locations
⚫ pick a deportation airline and confront them on a regular basis