Germany must admit that it is not only far-right extremists who commit hate-fueled mobbing attacks, the German police union chief said as he lambasted a group of migrants who assaulted people days before New Year’s Eve.
It is wrong that an incident is called “a ‘hate-fueled hunt’ only when it comes to crimes committed by some far-right extremists,” Rainer Wendt, the head of the German police union, told Bild daily as he called on the German government to take a clear stand on a recent incident. On December 29, several migrant youths attacked passers-by at random on the streets of the southern German town of Amberg.
While police are still investigating the case and providing no details on the suspects’ motives, Wendt was apparently eager to share his own thoughts on the issue. “I will name you the motive: it is deep contempt for our state and for the people who live with us,” he told Bild.
The incident, which provoked such an angry reaction from the police union chief, took place on December 29. Four migrants aged between 17 and 19 and coming from Iran and Afghanistan, went on a rampage near the railway station in Amberg, assaulting and beating people seemingly at random. It was later established that all the assailants were drunk. The scuffles left 12 people injured.
All four suspects were promptly detained by police.
Wendt also said that the attackers “should only be set free after they set foot in their homeland,” echoing widespread calls for swifter deportations of migrants and asylum seekers who commit crimes in Germany.
Several members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party also called for “tough sanctions” against the suspects and for their “deportations”, arguing that the four “lost their right to stay [in Germany].” “Those, who abused our hospitality by committing crimes in Germany, must lose their residence right,” Thorsten Frei, the deputy head of the Union faction in Bundestag, said.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer also called the Amberg incident “troubling” and that such “excessive violence” cannot be “tolerated.” “If existing laws are not sufficient, they must be changed,” he told Bild as he renewed his pursuit for swifter deportations.
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Meanwhile, the Bavarian Interior Ministry admitted that none of the suspects can be effectively deported at the moment due to various legal hurdles. One of them, a rejected Iranian asylum seeker, faces a deportation order, Die Zeit reports, citing the authorities. It added that the deportation proceedings have already been launched against him but it is still far from over.
The other three suspects all came from Afghanistan. Two of them still have their asylum applications being processed and thus cannot be deported, while another is underage and cannot be sent out. Still, the Bavarian Interior Ministry said it “pulled all the levers to change that.”
“Those, who indiscriminately beat innocent passers-by, show that they seek no protection in our society,” Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said, commenting on the issue. “The drunk perpetrators cannot expect understanding in our country but will only [see] the full rigor of the rule of law.”
The massive inflow of migrants and asylum seekers in recent years has put a strain on German society. The influx contributed to a spike in violent crimes as various incidents involving foreigners have repeatedly made headlines. The large number of people coming from the Middle East has also allegedly given rise to a new form of anti-Semitism in Germany.
Meanwhile, such developments also provoked an increase in anti-migrant and xenophobic attacks. On this New Year’s Eve, a man rammed his car in a crowd of people in what is considered to be a “targeted attack” fueled by racism. Earlier in 2018, the murder of a man, which was allegedly committed by a migrant, sparked massive violent far-right riots in the German city of Chemnitz.
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