The German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere on Wednesday defended the decision to deport eight men from Duesseldorf to Afghanistan, saying they had all committed serious criminal offences, Reuters reported.
It was the first mass deportation to Afghanistan since Germany paused them after a bomb attack in May that partially destroyed the German embassy in Kabul and killed around 150 people.
"These deportations follow the joint line the Foreign Minister (Sigmar) Gabriel and I approved following the submission of a mid-term report in July. That says that Germany will deport criminals and those who pose a threat or refuse to collaborate to Afghanistan. And in the future this will stay the same,” he said.
"The Foreign Minister and I have agreed and we have shared that publicly, that we will maintain the same line: criminals and those who pose a threat or refuse to collaborate will be deported to Afghanistan on a case-by-case basis, he added.
Reuters reported that responding to fears among German voters about the influx of more than a million refugees since the summer of 2015, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government began mass deportations of Afghans in December.
The policy has drawn criticism from human rights groups who argue people are being sent back to a dangerous country.
De Maiziere said there would be no change in policy in the foreseeable future.
According to Interior Ministry figures, 72 people have been deported to Afghanistan.