At least 10,000 alleged acts of violence by police are not reported in Germany every year, according to a new study. For every one suspected case, there are at least five others that go unreported, based on a report prepared by the Ruhr University Bochum, the first research into illegal police violence in Germany. Nearly 3,400 presumptive victims of unlawful police violence provided information for the study, which is still ongoing. According to official statistics, prosecutors investigate around 4,000 police officers every year over 2,000 suspected cases.
German police have been accused many times of inhumane treatment of asylum seekers. In May, a European Council watchdog committee accused German police of mistreating an Afghan man who was being expelled by choking him and squeezing his genitals. "To ill-treat a person by squeezing the genitals, a technique which is clearly aimed at inflicting severe pain to gain compliance, is both excessive and inappropriate," the council's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) said in a report. It focused on an Aug. 14, 2018 charter flight that carried 46 Afghans from Munich to Kabul on behalf of the EU border agency Frontex after their asylum requests had been denied.
Last year, a group of asylum seekers from Chechnya sent an open letter accusing the city's police of "racist" mistreatment. The open letter from 25 Chechen families involved the eastern German police, who allegedly mistreated over two dozen Chechen men who had been detained following a fight with a group of asylum seekers from Afghanistan, as reported by Deutsche Welle (DW). Police allegedly refused to give water to detainees who needed to take medication and appeared to punish those who requested it. Other men were allegedly forced to wait out their time in police detention in only their underwear. The detainees were not allowed to wear shoes while using the bathroom. In raids on a center for asylum seekers, police allegedly threatened a woman with a weapon in front of her children. During the G20 summit in Hamburg in 2017, German police made headlines for excessive use of force against protesters. German newspapers devoted far more space to pictures of police firing water cannons at hooded anarchists and other protesters than they did to Chancellor Angela Merkel's diplomatic balancing act with fellow leaders of major world economies. During the protests, police units sent from Berlin to help secure the summit had been sent home after media reported that some officers had urinated in the open while others brandished weapons while drunk at a wild party, according to Reuters.
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