Open letter to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel


More than 300,000 people support the demand

Due to the devastating situation in Afghanistan, Sea-Eye and over 300,000 people demand in an open letter to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to establish safe passages for all people who are now forced to leave the country.

Dear Chancellor:

In deepest concern and dismay we turn to you regarding the humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan. We do this with over 300,000 supporters who have signed the petition “Create safe passages from Afghanistan” (

The situation in Afghanistan is devastating! Thousands of people fear for their lives. The situation in Kabul is extremely dangerous. People have already died at the airport and many still persist in fear of death in the capital, waiting to be evacuated. Meanwhile, the Taliban are searching houses and apartments for their victims and controlling the streets.

However, the violence doesn’t take place in the capital only. The Taliban are also using violence against the population in other parts of the country. The UN reports on ongoing, serious human rights violations. There have been mass executions of civilians and former members of the Afghan security forces. In some regions, girls are no longer allowed to go to school – contrary to the Taliban’s claims – and women’s freedom of movement is restricted. Shabnam Khan Dawran, one of the most important presenters on state television, was deposed by the Taliban. The Taliban force minors to take up arms and the Taliban kill demonstrators during peaceful protests, such as in the cities of Asadabad and Jalalabad.

More than 3 million people have been displaced within the country – more than 500,000 people this year alone. More than 18 million people live in hunger in Afghanistan. Women and girls, as well as human rights activists, women’s rights activists and journalists, are particularly at risk under Taliban rule. However, anyone who opposes the rule and teachings of the Taliban faces severe reprisals, torture and murder. Germany has the duty to take responsibility and must not forget these people.

We therefore call on you together with 300,000 supporters to establish humanitarian corridors from Afghanistan. Currently, it is extremely difficult for many people to leave Afghanistan because the roads and border crossings are controlled by the Taliban. Advocate for opening the borders for all people who need to leave the country now. Coordinate with neighboring countries to do so. Clarify what reception capacities neighboring countries have and establish safe passages to the European Union with your European partners and let the German Federal Republic set a good example. More than 250 municipalities and cities have declared their willingness to take in refugees in the “Safe Havens” alliance. Enable these cities to finally help and take in the people.

Also work on an international level to ensure that countries take in Afghans who are now forced to flee despite the 20-year military operation of the West. The world community can give all Afghans a new life. We are convinced that no Afghan leaves his or her home for no reason. It is the responsibility of Germany and its partners to give all Afghans the opportunity to flee and thus enable them to make a self-determined decision. If Afghans fear for their safety and their lives, safe passages must be open to them. Do not abandon the people in Afghanistan!

As a sea rescue organization, we have seen the suffering caused by the lack of safe passages on our rescue missions in the Mediterranean for years. Not all people want to live in the European Union. But all people want to live in safety. Safe passages enable them to flee in a self-determined and safe manner. Without safe passages, people are forced to cross deserts and board unseaworthy boats. Many people – including children and families – die on their flight. We appeal to you: do not allow this to become the fate of Afghans. Create safe passages from Afghanistan.

Yours sincerely,
Axel Pasligh, Gorden Isler, Joana Weinmann and Sophie Weidenhiller
– from Sea-Eye e. V.