Rabat – Germany has significantly increased its number of deportations to the Maghreb region since 2015.According to a study published by the German media outlet Bild, the number of deportations from Germany to Morocco rose from 61 in 2015, to 634 in 2017. During the first eight months of this year, 476 Moroccans faced deportation. Tunisia and Algeria also saw similar rises in figures in the last three years. The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained the rise in deportations by increased cooperation with countries in the Maghreb. The recent use of biometric identification by North African countries that enhanced the electronic exchange of information also played an important part. The German government, in an effort to repatriate asylum seekers from the Maghreb, officially defined Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia as “safe countries,” and voted for a law in this regard in July. The measures came after several assaults on women on New Year’s Eve in 2015 in Cologne by North African men and last December’s terrorist attack in Berlin committed by the Tunisian Anis Amri who had initially sought asylum. Human rights activists in Germany still oppose the government’s decision to consider the Maghreb as “safe” asserting discrimination targeting homosexuals, lack of freedom of expression, and cases of torture.