News / Europe

    Hundreds Protest in Germany Following New Year's Eve Assaults

    Right-wing demonstrators hold a sign "Rapefugees not welcome - !Stay away!" and a sign with a crossed out mosque as they march in Cologne, Germany, Jan. 9, 2016. Women’s rights activists, far-right demonstrators and left-wing counter-protesters all took to the streets of Cologne on Saturday in the aftermath of a string of New Year’s Eve sexual assaults and robberies in Cologne blamed largely on foreigners.
    Right-wing demonstrators hold a sign "Rapefugees not welcome - !Stay away!" and a sign with a crossed out mosque as they march in Cologne, Germany, Jan. 9, 2016. Women’s rights activists, far-right demonstrators and left-wing counter-protesters all took to the streets of Cologne on Saturday in the aftermath of a string of New Year’s Eve sexual assaults and robberies in Cologne blamed largely on foreigners.
    VOA News

    Hundreds of far-right demonstrators gathered in the German city of Cologne to protest a rash of sexual assaults and robberies that took place during New Year's Eve celebrations in the city.

    The attacks, which have been blamed on men of North African and Arab origin, have fueled calls for tighter controls on the country's immigration policies.

    On Saturday, hundreds of protesters from the anti-immigrant Pegida movement carried flags and banners, while nearby separate rallies were held by left-wing counter-demonstrators and a group protesting violence against women.

    Hundreds of police have been deployed near the city's main train station, with some mild clashes reported.

    Tighter asylum laws

    Merkel German Chancellor Angel Merkel on Saturday proposed changes to German law that would make it easier to deny asylum to refugees convicted of crimes.

    "The right to a residence status and an asylum procedure can be lost if someone is convicted, on probation or jailed," Merkel told reporters after a meeting of her conservative Christian Democratic Party.

    German Chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel arrives with her deputy party leaders for the start of a two-day CDU party leadership meeting in Mainz, Germany, Jan. 8, 2016.
    German Chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel arrives with her deputy party leaders for the start of a two-day CDU party leadership meeting in Mainz, Germany, Jan. 8, 2016.

    Around 1,000 men are said to have surrounded, harassed and sexually assaulted women, many of whom were also robbed of their belongings, in front of Cologne's main train station on New Year's Eve.

    More than 170 people have filed criminal complaints, including at least one report of a rape.

    The Interior Ministry says German police have identified 32 suspects, with at least 20 of them being asylum seekers.

    Police spokesman Christoph Gilles speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Cologne, Germany, Jan. 6, 2016.
    Police spokesman Christoph Gilles speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Cologne, Germany, Jan. 6, 2016.

    Cologne's police chief was dismissed on Friday over criticism of his force's handling of the incidents.
     
    Some 1.1 million people registered as asylum seekers in Germany in 2015.

     

     

     

     

     

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: lone eagle from: Bangkok, Thailand
    January 11, 2016 1:53 AM
    Which is it VOA, it can't be both: " Women’s rights activists, far-right demonstrators and left-wing counter-protesters all took to the streets of Cologne on Saturday in the aftermath of a string of New Year’s Eve sexual assaults and robberies in Cologne blamed largely on foreigners" as stated in the top photo caption or in the main body of the article: "Hundreds of far-right demonstrators gathered in the German city of Cologne to protest a rash of sexual assaults and robberies that took place during New Year's Eve celebrations in the city."

    Why are parents of young women that may be subjected to sexual attacks being compared to Nazis because they are demonstrating against immigrants who preyed on young women on New Year's Eve?


    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    January 10, 2016 3:48 PM
    How many of those protesting and the victims were only recently criticizing Donald Trump for saying he would not allow the same thing to happen in the US if he's elected President? Right again Donald.

    by: Harry Baggins
    January 09, 2016 3:15 PM
    So the people that protest against Muslim men raping and assaulting women are "far right"? Like the writer of this article likens them to groups like the KKK or Nazis or something. These people are 100% justified in their anger over whats happening there.

    by: Gabe
    January 09, 2016 12:41 PM
    I don't think the asylum seekers would be that stupid to behave like this. Germany is by far one country that is going out of their way to accommodate these people when the US & British cause the problem in the first place.
    In Response

    by: Peter K from: Hungary
    January 09, 2016 7:09 PM
    Well actully it seems that some of them are that stupid or doesn't care...
    I don't say that every migrant is a terrorist, but some of them turned out to be... 3 attackers from Paris came with them. The rapes around new years eve can be connected to them (stolen mobile phones were located near refugee camps).
    The liberal view of Germany inviting everyone in with open arms just keeps failing miserably day by day.

    by: Steve from: USA
    January 09, 2016 12:12 PM
    Well, this has the potential to get very ugly. No one in the states is really suprised. Are people in Europe?

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