Annual Report: Germany 2013

Report
May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Germany 2013

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On 18 July, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that benefits available to asylum-seekers were insufficient to enable them to live in dignity and that this constituted a breach of the right to a dignified minimum existence, as enshrined in Article 1 of the German Constitution. The Court ordered the legislature to immediately enact new provisions as part of the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act.

Counter-terror and security

In September, the EU Parliament called on Germany and other EU member states to disclose all necessary information on all suspect planes associated with the CIA's rendition and secret detention programmes, and to effectively investigate the roles of those states in the CIA operations.

The government again failed to disclose whether it was still requesting “diplomatic assurances” to return individuals suspected of involvement in terrorism-related activities to states where they would face a real risk of torture or other ill-treatment. Regulatory rules governing the Residence Act continued to allow the use of “diplomatic assurances”.

International justice

The first trial based on the German Code of Crimes under International Law of June 2002 against Rwandan citizens Ignace Murwanashyaka and Straton Musoni continued at Stuttgart Higher Regional Court. The accused were indicted on 26 charges of crimes against humanity and 39 war crimes charges for crimes committed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between January 2008 and November 2009.

Germany did not codify enforced disappearance as a criminal offence, as required by the International Convention against enforced disappearance.

Discrimination

On 29 October, the Higher Administrative Court of Rheinland-Pfalz ruled that federal police officers had violated the constitutional principle of non-discrimination by subjecting a person to an identity check solely on base of his skin colour.

Amnesty International visits/reports

  • Germany: Legal provisions and political practices put persons at risk of human rights violations (EUR 23/002/2012)
  • Submission to the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance on Germany (EUR 23/003/2012)