As far as I can tell Volker Gerloff is a real lawyer (website, facebook looks good at first glance, website links to facebook page). He writes on facebook:

Das BAMF schafft es immer wieder, zu verblüffen. Mein Mandant ist Afghane und es ist unstreitig, dass ihm in Afghanistan Blutrache nach paschtunischem "Gewohnheitsrecht" droht. Die Ablehnung wird nun u.a. damit begründet, dass nach diesem "Gewohnheitsrecht" nicht zwingend die Tötung des Mandanten erfolgen muss - es genügte auch die Übergabe zweier heiratsfähiger Mädchen aus der Familie des Mandanten an die Familie, die auf Rache sinnt. Ich bin gespannt, ob das BAMF noch mitteilt, woher mein Mandant die beiden Mädchen zaubern soll und ob das BAMF dann die "Übergabe" organisieren würde(?). Es läuft gerade vieles sehr sehr schräg!

update (Wortlaut der BAMF-Entscheiderin im Bescheid): "Als Kompensationsmöglichkeit wird auch aufgezeigt, dass etwa zwei Mädchen im heiratsfähigen Alter an die Gruppe des Opfers übergeben werden könnten, ohne dafür eine Brautgabe zu erhalten." [...] "Die Tötung des Ausländers ist also nicht der einzige Ausweg, die Streitigkeiten der Familien beizulegen. So ist es nach paschtunischem Gewohnheitsrecht vorstellbar ... dass zwei Frauen aus der Täterfamilie an die Opferfamilie übergeben werden.".

Paraphrased: BAMF (German asylum government agency) supposedly denied asylum to an Afghan while admitting that people would be trying to kill him, because customs would allow him to settle the feud without being killed, for example by giving two of his daughters to his enemy [for marriage]. It seems like he doesn't have two daughters. There seem to some other reasons for the denial too which are omitted.

Rough translation:

The BAMF always manages to amaze. My client is an Afghan and it is undisputed that in Afghanistan he is threatened by blood revenge according to Pashtun "customary law". Justification of the rejection includes among other reasons [see note 3] the fact that according to this "customary law" the killing of the client is not the only solution - it is also sufficient to hand over two marriageable girls from the family of the client to the family which seeks revenge. I'm curious if the BAMF is going to tell me where my client is supposed to conjure up the two girls and if the BAMF would then organize the "hand over" (?). A lot of very very weird is going on just now!

update (Wording of the BAMF decision maker in the decision): "It is shown that as means of compensation there is also [see note 1] the possibility that for example two girls of marriageable age could be handed over to the group of the victim, without receiving a bridal gift." [...] "The killing of the foreigner is therefore not the only way to settle the disputes of the families as [see note 2] it is imaginable according to Pashtun customary law ... that two women from the perpetrator family are handed over to the victim family.".

Note 1: That "also" is ambiguous in the original and could be meaningless syntactical sugar, or be a reference to other means of compensation.

Note 2: That causal "as" is what the German text implies, but doesn't explicitly say. It could just be an unfortunate phrasing in theory.

Note 3: "among other reasons" is much less prominent in the original, consisting of just an "u.a." which could grammatically be omitted to remove the other reasons.

Relevancy: A German blog with a large audience linked to it (fefe) and there are some results on Twitter for it.

I think something must be wrong about this, but can't tell myself.

  • 1
    "without receiving a bridal gift." [...] "The killing of the foreigner" Is there by chance a list of other, more reasonable options within that "[...]" ? if one of the options is "say sorry, shake hands and mean it and pay a 200 dollar fine" then it could be an example of someone just listing all the ways a feud can be resolved.
    – Murphy
    Jul 11, 2018 at 9:29

1 Answer 1


An article on this topic can be found on t-online.de. According to the article t-online has a copy of the official order from the BAMF. The article states that the Afghani is supposed to be deported after having served his sentence for murder in a German prison. The BAMF has serious doubts that blood revenge will be enacted. Quoting the complete sentence from the official order:

So ist es nach paschtunischem Gewohnheitsrecht vorstellbar ein Vergebungsritual abzuhalten oder dass zwei Frauen aus der Täterfamilie an die Opferfamilie übergeben werden.

The omitted part from your quote states that it also possible to perform some kind of ritual of absolution.

Updating due to comments to put some information into context: Under German law murder ("Mord") requires vile intent (e.g. base motives), excesive violance or to enable or conceal another crime. Otherwise it wouldnt be more than "Totschlag".So I would assume that person committed an intentional murder crime while in Germany. The "pashtunian common law" is not any kind of official law in Afghanistan.

  • 6
    @Christian The guy murdered someone in Germany and has received trial and jail sentence in Germany. So he already was punished. The question is what will happen after he is released from prison. I'm not a lawyer, and we don't have all the details, but AsylG §3 Abs. 2 point 1 doesn't seem to apply. And as the t-online article notes, being in danger of being seriously harmed is a reason not to deport. Which seems to be the reason why the BAMF even came up with the "just trade women for your safety" argument. Comparing Texas law to Pashtun "customary law" seems a bit far-fetched either way.
    – tim
    Jul 11, 2018 at 9:48
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    @SIMEL: A: This is rather irrelevant for the Question of his safety in his home-country. B. Beeing subject to blood revenge implies that you have a bloody pretext ...
    – Daniel
    Jul 11, 2018 at 10:36
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    @Daniel, B. to the best of my knowledge, honour killing and blood revenge are not only in response to a murder, and are not limited to the offender alone, but to their family as well, but I may be mistaken. A. I think that this information puts the original claim in a new light from "Germany refuses the asylum request of a person in danger" to "Germany refuses the asylum request of a convicted murdered in danger". My attitude toward the second case is much different than the first, especially with the added information that the murder took place in Germany.
    – SIMEL
    Jul 11, 2018 at 13:12
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    @SIMEL: What you say is rather a argument for not disclosing it, because right should be impartial and without prejudice. OR put another way: A murderer can also be a person in danger (and in this case one who has served his term!)
    – Daniel
    Jul 11, 2018 at 13:15
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    @Daniel : I don't see why the right should be impartial to the reason of why a person is in danger of being harmed. There's a legal right to asylum if you are in danger of harm because of your ethnicity, race, political views, sexual orientation or because you belong to a certain social group. There's no legal harm to asylum because you violated a law in your home country. In the law for asylum for §3.2.2 and §2.2.2 specify that people who commit a "schwere Straftat" (major felony) don't have a right to asylum under those paragraphs.
    – Christian
    Jul 12, 2018 at 10:32

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