Story of John

Pakistan

John* is Pakistani Shiite. This confession of Islam is a small minority in a country where the population mostly follows Sunni. There have been incidences of religious violence against Shiites in Pakistan for years. As a journalist, John reported about the violence and became a mouthpiece for his minority in Karachi. As Shiites, they were discriminated against, persecuted, and even killed. To save his life, John decided to flee the country. On March 8, 2016, he went into exile, hoping he would be able to provide safety for his family in the future He decided to make his way into Europe.


John was registered at a reception centre for migrants in Moria, Lesbos. Unfortunately, a few days later he along with a large number of Pakistani refugees were arrested and taken into custody without being told why. They were taken to the detention centre in the north-eastern part of the island.


For six months, John was detained here under extremely bad conditions. Upon his release, he was not entitled to asylum and decided to contact people smugglers as he viewed this as his only option. Once in Germany, more bureaucratic hurdles had to be crossed.


The asylum application, the long waiting period to hear back on the authorities' decision, looking for an apartment and so on. John first moved in with a relative. After filing a request for asylum, he was assigned to a refugee centre in the northwest of Frankfurt. He received a monthly benefit payment of 320 euros and took German language courses. For asylum to be granted in Germany, sufficient proof must be provided of why protection is needed. John did not succeed in convincing authorities that he would be in danger upon returning to Pakistan. The general situation regarding Shiites were not enough.


Now John is lodging an appeal against the decision, but the legal procedure can take a long time.


* name changed

Story of John