Racists jailed for attacking 12-year-old child
23 May 2006, SCHOENEBECK, GERMANY - A group of racist youths who dragged a 12-year-old boy off a public bus in Germany to terrorize and beat him for an hour because he was black were sent to jail Monday.
23 May 2006
SCHOENEBECK, GERMANY - A group of racist youths who dragged a 12-year-old boy off a public bus in Germany to terrorize and beat him for an hour because he was black were sent to jail Monday.
The Ethiopian-born child, who had been living in an orphanage in eastern Germany, survived his January ordeal with concussion, a broken nose, and cuts and bruises all over his body.
As the evidence of the attack was heard last week, a national debate began in Germany about whether some eastern towns had effectively become "no-go areas" for dark-skinned people because of the risk of attack by shaven-headed, neo-Nazi youths.
The gang leader was given a 42-month sentence and his second-in- command 24 months at the end of a trial in the eastern town of Schoenebeck. Two other youths, both 16, received suspended sentences of 17 months each.
"This boy suffered unspeakable pain from this senseless attack. His wounds may have healed, but the psychological effects remain," said judge Peggy Bos as she read the verdict.
His lawyer said the boy remains traumatized and may have life-long nightmares. He refuses to return to the town.
The gang, whose leader was 20, waylaid the boy while he was riding a bus to the town of Poemmelte where he lived. The court was told how he was kicked, punched, hit with a beer bottle, had a lighted cigarette pushed against his eyelid and was forced to lick jackboots.
The court said the sole motive had been hatred of black people.
The accused were convicted of causing dangerous bodily harm, placing a person under duress and false imprisonment. The deputy gang leader, 16, was told to reappear in court in six months for possible commutation of his 24-month sentence to a suspended one.
Subject: German news