On December 11, Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung published the news that a man wanted for murder had turned himself in with the Vienna police. His name is Saber A., a 17-year-old Afghan ‘subsidiary protection’ asylum seeker. According to Kronen Zeitung:

Grief about the death of the young girl [his victim] mixed with incomprehension about the way authorities handled his case: even though the Afghan teenager was refused asylum when he came to Austria in the spring of 2016, he could not be deported. He is said already to have killed in his country of origin.

17-year-old Sabel A. Image obtained by ‘Aktuell in Osterreich’

The paper continues by explaining that Saber A. “apparently” fled Afghanistan on account of a murder he had committed there. An act he confessed to the brother of his later alleged victim. Ironically, it is this murder that allowed him to stay in Austria:

because in [Afghanistan] (…) he could be condemned to death, the unblemished youth could not be deported until his presumed murder of his girlfriend (16).

Kronen Zeitung expounds the concept of ‘subsidiary protection’, which was given to 3600 persons in Austria, noting that Saber A.’s stay was extended by two years in February 2018. Halfway through 2018, Saber was allowed to move house to Steyr, Upper Austria, in order to be closer to Michelle F., the girl he is alleged to have stabbed to death. The two met through Facebook and Saber often came to her house. Michelle’s mother wasn’t too pleased with their relationship, being quoted as saying:

He treated Michelle like property. He lived at our expense.

After a short seperation – “the guy cheated on her with a school friend” – the two were reunited Thursday, December 6. The following Sunday, he is said to have stabbed her to death in her room. On the run, Sabel A. phoned her mother, asking where her daughter was, to ascertain – according to Kronen Zeitung – if his crime had been noticed yet.

There was no trace of Sabel until Tuesday, when he used the emergency phone at the Vienna-Floridsdorf train station. After declaring he was the wanted man, police officers arrested him. Kronen Zeitung notes he can be sentenced to 15 years in prison maximum under juvenile criminal law.

In addition, a procedure has been started in order to withdraw the subsidiary protection. For Michelle F. this is too late…

Saber isn’t the only Afghan asylum seeker causing trouble in Austria. According to the governor of Oberösterreich, Thomas Stelzer, there is a “problem with a group of young Afghans.” The Head of Police, Andreas Pilsl warns that instances of stabbing have increased in the last ten years with 300%. Not just in cases like that between Sabel A. and Michelle F. in Steyr, but also in places where groups of teenage migrants congregate. They focus attention on themselves by their criminal acts that show a considerable potential for violence.

Andreas Pilsl warns:

Being underage cannot be a free pass for living outside our justice system. We cannot condone it and we certainly cannot close our eyes to it. That mistake has been made years ago with Tchechen problem groups. That mistake cannot and will not be repeated.