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German interior minister favors age tests for refugee minors

(dpa/NAN)

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere says he is in favour of age test for refugees whose age cannot be verified using documents.

De Maiziere, from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU party, on Wednesday, said “it is not too much to expect, if those concerned have to actively participate in establishing their age.

“If this is not possible by presenting official documents, it must be done in another way, including by medical examination if necessary.”

The German Medical Association opposes medical examinations to verify age such as by wrist x-ray, and labels them an “invasion of bodily integrity.’’

The debate surrounding age tests reignited after the violent death last week of a 15-year-old girl in the town of Kandel in south-western Germany.

The suspect is her ex-boyfriend, a refugee from Afghanistan, who officials said that he is 15 years old.

German daily Bild reported that the girl’s father had expressed doubts about this.

De Maiziere said that reliable age verification is absolutely necessary in order to be able to make the legal distinction between treating someone as a minor or an adult.

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