Refugees from Afghanistan, Syria and Cameroon are suing Germany for invasion of privacy after the authorities allegedly checked their phones to prove their identities.
The refugees are a 37-year-old woman from Afghanistan, 25-year-old woman from Cameroon and 29-year-old man from Syria.
The authorities in Germany have the authority to examine the cell phones of the asylum seekers who do not have valid identity documents such passports, according to Mail Online.
However, Berlin’s Society of Civil Rights (GFF) is arguing that this method was used too quickly and is a violation of the refugees’ human rights.
The 29-year-old Mohammad, who was granted asylum in 2015 said “I didn’t know what exactly was happening, nobody had explained anything. But I was afraid to be deported, so I gave the mobile. It was as if I was handing over my whole life,” according to a statement released by the GFF.
A GFF lawyer Lea Beckmann said “The BAMF (Germany’s ministry for migration and refugees) is disregarding the strict constitutional rules by which the state must abide when accessing personal data.”
Meanwhile, a BAMF spokesperson said “A mobile phone is often the only, or a very important, source to establish the identity and nationality of people entering Germany without a passport or identification documents.”