Afghan mur­der-rape ar­rest reignites the refugee de­bate

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

The Ger­man govern­ment pleaded for calm yes­ter­day af­ter the ar­rest of a teenage Afghan asy­lum seeker for the al­leged rape and mur­der of a Ger­man stu­dent trig­gered fresh crit­i­cism of the coun­try’s lib­eral refugee pol­icy. The anti-mi­grant AfD party blamed the crime on the “un­con­trolled” in­flux of for­eign­ers, while the head of a po­lice union warned of the “dan­gers that al­ways go along with mas­sive im­mi­gra­tion”.

But Vice Chan­cel­lor Sig­mar Gabriel said the mur­der of the 19-year-old med­i­cal stu­dent should not be used to whip up ha­tred against all refugees. “Such hor­ri­ble mur­ders al­ready hap­pened be­fore the first Afghan or Syr­ian refugee ar­rived here,” Gabriel told the Bild news­pa­per. “We will not al­low in­cite­ment af­ter such vi­o­lent crimes, no mat­ter who com­mits them.” The 17year-old sus­pect, who ar­rived in Ger­many in 2015 as an unac­com­pa­nied mi­nor, was ar­rested in the south­west­ern town of Freiburg on Fri­day af­ter his DNA was found at the crime scene and he was iden­ti­fied on CCTV. The vic­tim was found dead on a river bank on Oc­to­ber 16. An au­topsy found that she had drowned. News of the ar­rest trig­gered strong re­ac­tion on so­cial me­dia with some peo­ple say­ing an ironic “thank you” to Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel, whose open-door asy­lum pol­icy brought a record num­ber of mi­grants and refugees into Ger­many last year.

‘Warn­ings writ­ten off’

The chair­man of the DPoIG po­lice union, Rainer Wendt, said the killing could have been pre­vented. “We wouldn’t have this vic­tim, and so many others, if our coun­try had been bet­ter pre­pared for the dan­gers that al­ways go along with mas­sive im­mi­gra­tion,” he said. AfD co-chief Jo­erg Meuthen, whose party has made gains on ris­ing dis­con­tent over the flood of refugees, said: “We are shocked by this crime and at the same time we see that our warn­ings about the un­con­trolled ar­rival of hun­dreds of thou­sands of young men from Is­lam­ic­pa­tri­ar­chal cul­tures are writ­ten off as pop­ulist.”

Ger­many re­ceived 890,000 asy­lum re­quests in 2015, al­though that rate slowed to 213,000 from Jan­uary to Septem­ber 2016 fol­low­ing a deal with Turkey and a se­ries of bor­der clo­sures on the Balkan route. Pub­lic anger about the refugee ar­rivals has been stoked by some high-pro­file crimes in­volv­ing mi­grants. Dur­ing the last New Year’s Eve cel­e­bra­tions, hun­dreds of women re­ported sex­ual as­saults in Cologne and other Ger­man cities, with the at­tacks blamed largely on Arab and North African men. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.