Asylum seekers in Germany continue to fear for their safety as the number of hate crime cases remains high. According to a recent report by the German Federal Criminal Police, there is an attack on asylum seekers‘ shelters nearly every day.
Since January of this year there have been 211 cases of attacks directed at asylum seekers’ shelters. Most of the attacks are linked to far-right groups. In 2015 and 2016 the German authorities reported 866 and 1,031 attacks respectively.
Figures from the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees show that the number of asylum seekers skyrocketed over the past few years. In 2012 it was still 77,651. It rose to 127,023 in 2013; 202,834 in 2014; 476,649 in 2015; and 745,545 in 2016. Between January and September of this year 168,306 people asked for asylum in Germany. Most of them came from Syria (158.657 in 2015; 266,250 in 2016; 36,832 in 2017).
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The unprecedented influx of asylum seekers has led to the rise of far-right in Germany. In the last parliamentary elections the far-right party AfD (Alternative for Germany) won 92 seats, becoming the 3rd-largest party in the country. The AfD ran on a xenophobic and Islamophobic platform.
For decades the issues of immigration and integration have caused major tensions in German society. In 1992 violent xenophobic riots took place in the city of Rostock, in East Germany, when young people stormed and set on fire a building that accommodated asylum seekers from Romania and Vietnam. In 2013, prior to the refugee crisis, German authorities registered 69 attacks against asylum seekers’ shelters.
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