Race-hate attacks fuel German World Cup fears

26th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

26 May 2006, BERLIN - Six foreigners were injured in a string of racially-motivated attacks in two German cities a fortnight before the start of the World Cup, police said Friday. Three of the incidents took place in Berlin where 14 persons were detained after attacks directed at Turks, a Lebanese, an Indian and a man from the African state of Guinea. The Turk was treated in hospital for cuts and bruises after being beaten up by four shaven-headed men who shouted racial abuse at him and three of his friend

26 May 2006

BERLIN - Six foreigners were injured in a string of racially-motivated attacks in two German cities a fortnight before the start of the World Cup, police said Friday.

Three of the incidents took place in Berlin where 14 persons were detained after attacks directed at Turks, a Lebanese, an Indian and a man from the African state of Guinea.

The Turk was treated in hospital for cuts and bruises after being beaten up by four shaven-headed men who shouted racial abuse at him and three of his friends, police said.

All the attackers were detained. Police said two of them had previous convictions for violence.

In other incidents, a 33-year man from Guinea suffered minor injuries after being racially abused and attacked with fireworks at a suburban railway station, while a Lebanese man was accosted a group of nine men who threw a bottle at him at another railway station.

In the eastern city of Weimar, three men from Mozambique and Cuba suffered injuries when a group of suspected right-wing extremists burst into a private party and assaulted the foreigners. Police arrested eight men aged between 19 and 29.

Germany is currently experiencing a big increase in far-right crime, according to a report issued by the country's domestic security agency earlier this week.

The report said far-right crime soared almost 28 per cent last year compared with 2004, with 15,361 cases reported. There were 958 violent neo-Nazi attacks, an increase of almost 24 per cent.

Last week, a Berlin politician who is an ethnic Kurd originally from Turkey spent several days in hospital after being hit on the head with a bottle in a suspected rightist attack.

An Ethiopian-born German was badly injured in Potsdam outside Berlin last month in an attack that prosecutors believe was racially motivated.

The attacks have trigged a discussion about xenophobia in Germany, which is expecting hundreds of thousands of visitors from aboard for the World Cup that kicks off on June 9.

The debate was started by a former government spokesman, Uwe-Karsten Heye, who advised people with dark skin to avoid certain areas of the former East Germany near Berlin.

"There are small and medium-sized towns in Brandenburg and elsewhere where I would not advise anyone with a different skin colour to go," said Heye, referring to the state surrounding the capital. "There is a chance they might not get out alive."

DPA

Subject: German News

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