Germany evicts Afghan refugees to make way for Ukrainian refugees: Report
The unequal treatment reflects a trend among western governments and media outlets towards refugees depending on their race and nation of origin
By News Desk - April 21 2022

Afghan refugees at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. (Photo credit: Rob Schmitz/NPR)

Several refugees from Afghanistan have been removed from their temporary homes funded by the German government to make way for Ukrainian refugees, according to a 20 April report by Foreign Policy.

Social workers have reportedly shown up at many state-funded apartments to give Afghan refugees a 24-hour deadline to clear out their homes so that Ukrainian refugees could move in.

Tareq Alaows, a board member of the Berlin Refugee Council, was quoted as saying: “The evictions purposefully weren’t publicized. Some people had lived in their homes for years and were ripped out of their social structures, including children who were moved to locations far from their respective schools.”

“Of course it’s not the Ukrainians’ fault, but we have to reflect on our solidarity if it’s only targeting certain people. The last months showed that different treatment of refugees is possible, and this needs to be systematically anchored in our society,” Alaows added.

A report from 20 April by the UN declared that the number of refugees who have left Ukraine amounts to over 5 million people.

Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February following Ukrainian military attacks onto the newly-recognized independent republics of Donetsk and Luhansk and their failure to implement the terms of the 2014 Minsk agreements, in addition to security concerns over NATO expansion threatening the status quo of nuclear deterrence.

Various leaders in West Asia have condemned the unequal treatment that governments and the media have shown towards Ukrainian refugees in comparison to refugees from other countries.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, stated on 8 March that the “whole world cries over Ukraine” while ignoring the crimes committed against Gaza and Yemen.

Further highlighting the double standards, Nasrallah pointed out that “the whole world is silent because they are simply not white and don’t have blue eyes – even if some of them have white skin, blond hair, and blue eyes. But because they do not belong to the world of the white man,” adding that “even those who belong to the world of the white man in America are just a means, a commodity, and a tool that have no human value.”

Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, also criticized the unequal treatment based on race and nationality.

“In the events in Ukraine, everyone is witnessing the racism of western governments. They stop trains to force black people, who are seeking refuge and escaping wars, off the train,” the Supreme Leader lamented.

Both Iran and Hezbollah have remained relatively neutral on the Russia-Ukraine conflict. However, they have placed the blame for the conflict on the US and NATO, not on Russia.

In the wake of the Russian special military operation, western media outlets came under fire for controversial narratives surrounding different attitudes towards victims of war based on race.

In late February 2022, CBS News senior foreign policy correspondent Charlie D’Agata stated on live TV that Ukraine “isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan, that has seen conflict raging for decades. This is a relatively civilized, relatively European … city, one where you wouldn’t expect that.”

European news networks did not fail to promote similarly racist perspectives, with French BFM TV anchor Philippe Corbe saying days after the start of the military operation: “We’re not talking here about Syrians fleeing the bombing of the Syrian regime backed by Putin, we’re talking about Europeans leaving in cars that look like ours.”

Meanwhile, the BBC aired an interview with Ukraine’s former deputy general prosecutor, David Sakvarelidze, in which he said “it’s very emotional for me because I see European people with blonde hair and blue eyes being killed every day.”

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