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Germany Reports New High in Politically Motivated Crimes

The number of politically motivated crimes in Germany increased by 7 percent year-on-year in 2022 to a new high of 58,916 cases, the Ministry of the Interior (BMI) said on Tuesday.

“Politically motivated crime is a reflection of social conflicts in our country,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in a statement, stressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Most crimes had a “diffuse ideological motivation,” which could not be assigned to either the left or right of the political spectrum, according to the ministry. These also included crimes related to protests against COVID-19 measures.

Crimes motivated by right-wing ideology increased to just under 23,500 cases. No other distinct group accounted for more cases and these crimes were often accompanied by violence. Last year, 41 percent of victims of politically motivated violent acts were injured by right-wing perpetrators.

“I am particularly concerned that attacks on refugees have increased sharply,” Faeser said. “It is extremely inhumane to attack people who have found protection from war and terror in our country.”

German police recorded 1,420 crimes against persons seeking protection in 2022, up 9 percent year-on-year. Attacks on asylum shelters rose by 67 percent to 120 cases, the ministry said.

In 2022, the number of people seeking protection in Germany grew faster than ever before, reaching more than three million, according to official figures. Just over one million people came from Ukraine alone.

Record immigration put further pressure on the country’s welfare system, fueling the public debate on housing refugees and deporting rejected asylum seekers. The German government is scheduled to discuss plans for stricter asylum policies with the federal states on Wednesday.

Germany is seeking to increase the “effectiveness and the success rate, especially in the repatriation of foreigners who have committed significant criminal offenses,” Bild newspaper quoted on Monday a draft resolution by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s office. 

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