Far-right protesters demonstrate in Cologne, Germany, on Jan. 9, 2016. (File Photo)
Far-right protesters demonstrate in Cologne, Germany, on Jan. 9, 2016. (File Photo)

Anti-Migrant Attacks Rise in Germany

Anti-Migrant Attacks Rise in Germany

Germany saw more than 3,500 attacks against refugees and asylum shelters last year, interior ministry data showed, amounting to nearly ten acts of anti-migrant violence a day as the country grapples with a record influx of newcomers.
The assaults left 560 people injured, including 43 children, the ministry said in a written response to a parliamentary question, RTE reported.
The government “strongly condemns” the violence, the letter said.
“People who have fled their home country and seek protection in Germany have the right to expect safe shelter,” it read.
A total of 2,545 attacks against individual refugees were reported last year, the ministry wrote, citing police statistics.
There was no immediate comparison with previous years as it was only introduced as a separate category under politically motivated crimes in 2016.
Additionally, there were 988 instances of housing for refugees and asylum seekers being targeted last year, the ministry said, including arson attacks.
That was slightly down on 2015 when there were just over 1,000 criminal acts against refugee shelters. In 2014, there was only 199 such cases.
The sharp rise in hate crimes came after Germany took in some 890,000 asylum seekers in 2015 at the height of Europe’s refugee crisis.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to open the doors to those fleeing conflict and persecution polarized the country and fuelled support for the rightwing populist Alternative for Germany party.
A member of Germany’s far-left Die Linke party, Ulla Jelpke, blamed the anti-migrant violence on far-right extremists and urged the government to take stronger action.


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