Hate crimes in Berlin nearly double in 2015, reports say
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULMar 11, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Mar 11, 2016 12:00 am
The Local reported on Wednesday that violent hate crimes, including anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, racist and other crimes doubled in Berlin in 2015.
The Local cited two hate crime monitoring groups, ReachOut and Berliner Register, saying there were 179 crimes committed by far-right extremists in the city in 2014, but jumped to 320 incidents in 2015. Most of the attacks were related to racism with at least 42 children affected by the attacks. However, in total, the report found a total of 1,820 hate crime incidents including extreme right-wing, xenophobic and anti-Semitic motivations, the Local reported. While some of the incidents included physical assault, some others included defacing stickers, posters and graffiti.
With the recent influx of migrants into Germany, arson attacks on migrant shelters, assaults and spray-painted swastikas have been on the rise as Germany has taken in record numbers of asylum seekers, but has been rocked by a xenophobic backlash that authorities have appeared unable to stop. While vast numbers of Germans have volunteered to help migrants, there has also been a rise in anti-foreigner sentiment that has buoyed the populist, anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. Last year, from June to September, Germany recorded an average of three xenophobic acts a day on asylum seeker facilities, according to government figures provided to lawmakers.
Recently, European countries have also seen a shift toward far-right, anti-migrant parties, which have been gaining popularity amid rising public fears regarding the migrant influx. Polls showed a rise in support for right-wing parties in Austria, Poland and Switzerland. Similarly, anti-migrant and anti-Islam movements such as Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA) have been on the rise.