Schily: Refugees Have No Basic Right to Asylum
Strengthening his calls for the creation of European Union centers for asylum seekers in Africa, German Interior Minister Otto Schily on Monday said, in his assessment, refugees no longer have the fundamental right to receive asylum in Germany if the centers are opened. In an interview, the Social Democrat said the EU should examine whether a "test center could be created in Northern Africa." However, the head of the opposition neo-liberal Free Democrats, Guido Westerwelle, said the government should end its debate over possible processing centers in Africa because he believes they are unconstitutional. Human rights groups have also criticized Schily's proposal, citing possible violations of the refugee provisions in the Geneva Convention. But Schily has said the constitution does not apply because the centers would be outside of EU jurisdiction. The current debate broke out last month after the German aid organization Cap Anamur rescued several dozen African refugees from their flimsy boat and illegally took them to port in Italy. The idea behind the centers would be to determine the validity of refugees' asylum claims before they reach the European continent.