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Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe

Photo: Uli Deck / dpa

A refugee formerly housed in a reception centre in Baden-Württemberg has filed a constitutional complaint about a police operation to deport him in 2018. As the Federal Constitutional Court confirmed to the press agency dpa, the complaint filed with the Society for Civil Liberties (GFF) and Pro Asyl was filed. According to the organisations, it is directed against a Federal Administrative Court ruling of June of this year, which, in their view, violated the fundamental right to protection of the home.

The plaintiff from Cameroon defends himself against a night-time operation in which he was visited by the police in a room in the reception center Ellwangen (Ostalbkreis) because he was to be deported.

The Federal Administrative Court ruled that rooms in refugee accommodation were to be regarded as apartments subject to special protection of fundamental rights. At the same time, however, the court in Leipzig ruled that it was lawful for the police to enter a refugee's room to pick him up for deportation. The mere entry into a room or apartment is not a search, for which a prior order by a judge is required under the Constitution.

The refugee organisations see the verdict as gutting the fundamental rights protection of the home. "The inviolability of the home is worth little if state actors can enter the rooms in initial reception centers at will and even at night," criticized GFF attorney Sarah Lincoln, according to a statement. Refugees in particular, who are often severely traumatised by war, persecution and flight, need a protected place of retreat.

"Why can't the police knock and wait for me to get to the door? Instead, she simply storms my room at night, without notice, without waiting and, above all, without a search warrant," the complainant said, according to the statement. I would like the Federal Constitutional Court to clarify that the rights of refugees count just as much as the rights of other people."

(Az.: BVerwG 1 C 10.22)