Specifically, the attorney has now applied to the State Department for family consular protection. According to the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, the Ministry must now respond to this with an administrative decision, that is, with a verifiable decision.
If the ministry refuses, you can take legal action, Howelka says. At the same time, it asserts that Germany will return all its citizens in the camps from Syria by the end of the year.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs only returns children
Howelka pays special attention to the well-being of the two children, aged four and six. In their lives they have only seen the “Roj” concentration camp, run by the Kurds. “Mother is afraid for the children,” Howelka says, so she tries to stay in the tent all day. Although the State Department would return the children without their mother, the lawyer disputes this. That is, with the right to the family from the point of view of children who, like their mother, are Austrian citizens.
Difficult access to the camps
The Foreign Ministry in Vienna stresses that efforts are being made to ensure that Austrian citizens – especially children – are “taken care of as much as possible in the camps in Syria”. However, Austria does not currently have an embassy in Syria, and access to the camps is “only possible to a very limited extent” and is extremely dangerous. However, reports are obtained regularly on the health status of those affected and medical assistance can be organized if necessary.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that there is no general right to return its citizens by the state. Only in exceptional circumstances can the state be obligated to take back its citizens.
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