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CRIME

Dresden honours Egyptian ‘veil martyr’

The city of Dresden on Thursday paid its respects to a pregnant Egyptian woman who was stabbed to death in a courtroom one year ago in a racially motivated crime that outraged the Muslim world.

Dresden honours Egyptian 'veil martyr'
Photo: DPA

Officials including Saxon Justice Minister Jürgen Martens honoured the memory of 31-year-old Marwa El-Sherbini, dubbed the “veil martyr,” with a plaque to serve as a warning against racism.

“One year ago all of us were forced to realise the deadly logic of the hatred of foreigners,” said Martens, adding that the murder had shaken “Dresden, Germany and the entire world.”

Members of the local Muslim community took part in the ceremony and a commemorative march was held later in the day.

During a trial in July last year, 28-year-old Russian-born Alex Wiens stabbed Sherbini, who wore a headscarf, at least 16 times with an 18-centimetre kitchen knife. She was three-months pregnant with her second child. Her three-year-old son, Mustafa, watched her bleed to death in the courtroom.

Sherbini’s husband, Egyptian geneticist Elwy Okaz, rushed to her aid but was also stabbed and then shot in the leg by a police officer who was unsure who was the attacker.

Wiens said he was acting out of revenge after she had pressed charges against him for calling her a “terrorist,” “Islamist” and “whore” during a dispute over a playground swing in August 2008.

He confessed to the crime during his trial, which resulted in a life sentence.

The murder, as well as the slow reaction of Germany’s politicians and media, sparked outrage in Sherbini’s home country, as well as in the wider Muslim world.

“This deed will not be forgotten,” said Dresden Mayor Helma Orosz.

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CRIME

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

READ ALSO: The German rules of the road that are hard to get your head around

In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners

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