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More refugees in Germany suing over drawn-out asylum process

The number of asylum-seeker lawsuits against Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has risen sharply in 2016. Refugees have sued the ministry over their failure to act on asylum applications.

The number of so-called "failure to act" lawsuits

against the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) rose sharply in the first three months of 2016 compared to last year, according to a German newspaper report on Saturday.

The "Thüringer Allgemeine" noted that 3,271 such cases against the BAMF were pending in administrative courts at the end of March.

The numbers indicate a 40 percent increase in the first quarter of the year compared to the end of 2015, which saw a total of 2,299 cases. The BAMF recently released the data upon request from members of Germany's Left Party, according to the newspaper.

Almost one third of these cases (1,066) are registered in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia whereas 849 of the cases are located in Bayern.

Germany's bureaucratic asylum system has been working overtime since the country accepted 1.1 million refugees last year, and the number of applications has continued to rise in 2016. The clogged system has led to long wait times and left thousands of asylum-applicants stuck in limbo.

Such "failure to act" cases may be brought against the ministry when applications are not decided upon within a suitable time period.

The Left Party's spokeswoman for migration policy Sevim Dagdelen criticized the "inaction of the state" for the rising number of open asylum cases. She told the "Thüringer Allgemeine," that refugees require certainty about what will become of them and their cases.

rs/rc (AFP, dpa)

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