German interior senators took action against the increasing number of hate crimes in Germany with a new decision to grant asylum to victims of far-right-motivated offenses in Berlin, regardless of whether the asylum seekers were destined to be deported.
The new regulation should "deter" possible future perpetrators, the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine reported Tuesday.
Foreigners were set to be deported but also victims of hate crimes will be granted permission to stay and live in the German capital, Berlin's Interior Senator Andreas Geisel announced Tuesday at a conference in Dresden.
Geisel, who is a politician from the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), said that he instructed Berlin's immigration authorities to delay the deportation of hate crime victims and their families until criminal proceedings were completed in Germany.
The outcome of these criminal proceedings and the graveness of the offenses will determine whether the asylum seekers will be granted permit of residence.
"It has to be made clear to the perpetrators that their offenses lead to nothing, and do exactly the opposite of what they might have in mind," Geisel explained. "People who should be expelled from our country by force could stay instead."
According to the regulation, victims of hate crimes with "significant consequences" will be allowed to stay in Berlin if they have not been previously convicted of a crime or classified as "dangerous" by the German police.
A February report published by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) said that the German police relied on an "excessively restrictive definition of hate crimes" when registering them, implying that the figures given by German authorities were much lower than the actual number of xenophobic acts.
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