Chinese tourist mistaken for refugee in Germany for 12 days


A Chinese tourist got tangled up in the red tape of Germany’s migrant influx by mistake and was stuck in a refugee home for nearly two weeks, the Red Cross said on Monday.

Officials thought the 31-year-old backpacker, who spoke neither German nor English, “needed help” after landing in Stuttgart airport in southwestern Germany on July 4, Christoph Schluetermann of the German Red Cross stated.

The man, who had lost his wallet, was taken to a reception centre in the nearby town of Heidelberg, where he unwittingly filled out an asylum request form, following the local authorities’ instructions, Schluetermann said.

Then on July 6, he was transferred to a reception centre in the western city of Dortmund, where his passport was taken from him, and then to another shelter in Duelmen near the Dutch border.

“Machinery kicked into gear from which he couldn’t immediately escape,” Schluetermann told news agency DPA.