Over 600 attacks on refugees recorded in Germany this year

Published 07.09.2019 00:12

Often the victims of far-right violence, asylum-seekers and refugees in Germany were attacked 609 times during the first half of 2019, based on a report released by the country's Interior Ministry said. These attacks included verbal abuse, physical violence and arson attacks, the ministry said in response to a parliamentary question. Some 60 attacks targeted refugee centers and 42 others were directed at relief organizations across the country. At least 102 individuals were injured in these attacks, including seven children. According to the report, one in four attacks took place in the state of Brandenburg, which surrounds the capital city of Berlin. A total of 160 offenses targeting refugees or asylum-seekers in the state were recorded by German police.

Germany has accepted nearly 1.4 million refugees since 2015, mostly from Syria and Iraq. Considering the problem of racially motivated strings of attacks, the country has been showing increasingly hostile attitudes toward immigrants, the Muslim community and other minorities such as the Roma, according to a study published last November. Based on a report by the Leipzig-based Competence Center for Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy Research, more than one-in-three Germans think foreigners come only to exploit the welfare state. Around 2,000 attacks were reported last year in Germany, targeting refugees and their dormitories. Regarding the growth of far-right extremism, the risk of becoming a victim of a hate crime is 10 times higher for immigrants residing in cities in eastern Germany, according to another study.

Far-right groups made specific plans to violently chase down migrants and foreign-looking individuals, according to a report investigating right-wing violence during the August 2018 demonstrations in the eastern city of Chemnitz. According to evaluations made by the Saxony Criminal Police Office, officials found chat messages exchanged between known members of Chemnitz's extreme-right scene between Aug. 26 and Aug. 28.

In June, German prosecutors charged members of the right-wing organization Revolution Chemnitz with forming a terrorist group. A spokeswoman for the federal prosecutor's office in Karlsruhe confirmed that the members had been charged with forming the group in September in order to plan and carry out terrorist attacks. According to local media reports, members of the group had planned to orchestrate a civil war-like rebellion in Berlin on Oct. 2, 2018.

Istanbul / Daily Sabah with AA

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