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Data Shows Hate Crimes Against Refugees on Rise in Germany

  • VOA News

FILE - Anti-immigrant protests in Dresden, Germany have also inspired counter-protests and graffiti like this that says 'Nazis Out!", July 7, 2016. (H. Murdock/VOA)

German officials have released data that shows refugees and asylum seekers suffered nearly 10 attacks a day there in 2016, the interior ministry said.

Citing police statistics, officials said more than 3,500 anti-migrant attacks were carried out last year, resulting in 560 people injured, including 43 children.

The numbers were published as a response to parliamentary questions by Ulla Jelpke, a member of the left-wing party Die Linke.

The German government said it “strongly condemns” the violence.

“People who have fled their homeland and are seeking protection in Germany have the right to expect that they will be accommodated safely,” said a letter issued by the interior ministry.

“Everyone in our society and politics has the common responsibility to position themselves clearly against the quiet support of, or even the quiet tolerance of, such attacks by a minority of our society,” it added.

Rising xenophobia has emerged as a key concern in German as the influx of migrants in the last two years has been accompanied by anger and attacks on asylum seekers in many eastern states such as Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

In 2015, Germany recorded 1,408 violent acts carried out by right-wing supporters last year, a rise of more than 42 percent, and 75 arson attacks on refugee shelters, up from five a year earlier.

Germany's acceptance of more than 1 million refugees in 2015 boosted popular support for the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which is now represented in all of the eastern federal states, and mounted criticism and resentment for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy towards refugees.

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