Police in eastern Germany said yesterday that they were looking for three men from a suspected vigilante group after a video surfaced of them pulling an Iraqi migrant out of a supermarket.
Goerlitz police told dpa news agency on Thursday that the 21-year-old Iraqi was arguing with supermarket employees over a defective phone card on May 21 in Arnsdorf when three men in black shirts stormed in, grabbed him, took him outside and zip-tied him to a tree.
The men fled when police arrived. Bild newspaper on Thursday posted a video of the incident, which it said has been making the rounds on far-right websites.
Police are looking for witnesses who can identify the men. They are also investigating the migrant, who supermarket workers said threatened them with a bottle.
Meanwhile, the BBC cited German media as saying that a counselor for Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) was among the three men who tied the asylum-seeker to the tree.
Germany has struggled to cope with the rise of xenophobia and hate towards migrants. With the migrant influx sharply down in recent months, the right-wing and populist Alternative für Deutschland party (AfD) has aligned itself with the xenophobic and anti-Islamic PEGIDA street movement.