Germany sees spike in attacks on refugee shelters, with 80 reported in 1st half of 2023

Germany sees spike in attacks on refugee shelters, with 80 reported in 1st half of 2023

Of these, 74 allegedly committed by right-wing suspects, with 2 offenses related to phenomenon of 'foreign ideology,' says government

By Oliver Towfigh Nia

BERLIN (AA) - The number of politically motivated attacks on refugee shelters in Germany has steadily increased since the beginning of last year, with 80 crimes reported in the first half of this year, mostly involving far-right activists.

Following a parliamentary inquiry by the radical leftist opposition party The Left (Die Linke), the German government said there are reports of 80 politically motivated crimes in the first half of this year in which a refugee shelter was the scene of the crime or the direct target of the attack, the German Press Agency (dpa) reported on Wednesday.

Of these, 74 were allegedly committed by right-wing suspects, with two offenses related to the phenomenon of "foreign ideology." In one instance, the police classified the crime as "religious ideology."

In the first half of the year 2022, the police recorded 52 politically motivated crimes against refugee shelters, with an increase of 71 in the second half.

According to the German government, 39 people, including four children, were injured in crimes committed against asylum seekers, refugees, and shelters in the second quarter of 2023.

Reacting to the latest figures provided by the government, the spokeswoman for The Left party on refugee matters, Clara Buenger called it “alarming.”

"It is alarming that people who seek protection here experience violence, hostility, and exclusion so often," Buenger was quoted as saying by the news agency.

She accused the far-right AfD party, as well as the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and its sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), of preparing the ground for "racist mobilization" against refugees through "verbal attacks on the right to asylum."

One should also not forget that “by agreeing to the reform of the European asylum system, the SPD and the Greens themselves voted for the de facto abolition of the right to asylum in the EU,” Buenger added.

Germany has witnessed growing racism in recent years, fueled by the propaganda of far-right groups and parties, which have exploited the refugee crisis and attempted to stoke fear of immigrants.​​​​​​​

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