Migrants in Germany have faced over 3,500 attacks last year, a number which German officials are calling “alarmingly high and cause for concern,” adding that these crimes are being taken very seriously and aggressively prosecuted, resulting in falling numbers.
The majority of attacks were minor crimes such as vandalism, threats, and slander, however reports included serious crimes and attacks such as murder, arson, and bodily harm.
The nation’s Interior Ministry compiled the report using information from Germany’s 16 states as a response to the Left Party’s inquiry in Parliament.
“There was a very wide spectrum of crimes … every one is to be condemned,” stated Johannes Dimroth, Interior Ministry spokesperson.
The attacks left 560 people injured, which includes 43 children. In all, 2,343 suspects have been identified and investigations have begun, stated a recent report.
Figures for previous years haven’t been gathered but Dimroth stated that after 2016, the “trend is downward … which gives us a little bit of hope.”
Germany allowed 890,000 asylum-seekers to enter the country in 2015, an influx that caused backlash and an increase anti-immigration sentiments, which is most rampant in the eastern end of the nation.
The government is investing additional resources into the fight against xenophobia and related crimes, however new figures portray the idea that more can be done still, stated Gauri van Gulik, the deputy director of Europe’s Amnesty International.
“We need to see better risk assessments, more protection at certain locations, thorough investigations and prosecutions of these appalling racist attacks to stop them in the future,” stated van Gulik.
Dimroth also said that society has a huge responsibility to help in the fight against racism, and it isn’t possible to “ban” extremism.
“All of society has the responsibility to establish a climate where extremism finds no fertile ground,” he mentioned.