The man who stabbed 25-year-old Mohammed R. has not yet been caught, and the deadly attack on the night of May 1 at the Neuköllner Maientage festival in Hasenheide on Columbiadamm has not yet been clarified. The 25-year-old from the Berlin milieu of Arab clans died in the Vivantes Hospital in Neukölln due to the serious injuries he sustained in a dispute between several men. In the fall of 2018, his brother Nidal was shot dead on Tempelhofer Feld.

Mohammed R. was a repeat offender – and shouldn’t have been in Germany at the time of the crime. In 2018 he was deported to Lebanon for several crimes. So why was he still in Berlin in April 2022?

“Passport and ID papers were missing,” a spokeswoman for the Senate’s interior administration told the Tagesspiegel. “Due to the applicable legal situation, he has had to be repeatedly granted a toleration for lack of a passport since 2018,” she said.

Since 2018, the State Office for Immigration has made continuous and intensive efforts to obtain a passport in Lebanon. “That was also made more difficult by the fact that his citizenship as a Palestinian from Lebanon was unclear.”

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She was unable to say how many other people from Lebanon who are to be deported for criminal reasons must still be tolerated. As of March 31, 1,054 people of Lebanese origin were tolerated.

Toleration is always granted after an individual case-related examination and depends on individual reasons for toleration, such as lack of a passport, ongoing court proceedings or toleration for family reasons. There is no differentiated recording of the reasons for toleration for statistical purposes.

In order to avoid chain tolerance, all possibilities would be used to give people who have been in Berlin for years, secure their livelihood, are well integrated and have not committed any crimes a secure perspective to stay, said the spokeswoman. The State Office for Immigration regularly checks in each individual case whether there are still reasons for toleration or obstacles to deportation.

According to the spokeswoman, 82 Lebanese nationals were deported between January 1, 2018 and April 30. “Here,” she said, “the statistical recording does not differentiate between deportation to Lebanon and deportation to another country.”