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Berlin politician attacked in own home

The Local · 28 Dec 2011, 07:43

Published: 28 Dec 2011 07:43 GMT+01:00

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The Green Party, which the victim Ferhad Ahma represents on a Berlin district council, suspected the Syrian secret services were behind the assault early Monday, according to the party's chief whip in the national parliament, Volker Beck.

Ahma suffered serious bruises and other wounds in the attack but declined medical treatment, police said.

The Greens said in a statement that two men claiming to be policemen arrived at Ahma's flat at around 2 am and when he opened the door, began beating him with metal bars and clubs.

The party said the men's Arab appearance as well as the fact that Ahma had been threatened before led it to conclude the attackers were linked to the regime in Damascus.

Beck called on Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle to summon the Syrian ambassador over the attack and on German authorities to assure Ahma's safety.

"It is unacceptable that a member of the Syrian opposition can be hunted, persecuted and intimidated in Germany by the Syrian services," Beck said.

A foreign ministry spokeswoman said it was aware of the assault on Ahma "and the accusations against Syria in that context."

"(The ministry) is in contact with the relevant investigating authorities and made clear its interest in a quick and comprehensive clarification of what occurred," she said.

A spokesman for the Berlin police said that its state security force had taken over the investigation but that it was still unclear who was behind the attack.

The foreign ministry said Thursday it had summoned Syria's ambassador to Berlin to demand an immediate halt to the "brutal" repression of anti-regime demonstrators by government forces.

Story continues below…

The United Nations says more than 5,000 people have lost their lives in nine months of bloodshed.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

08:58 December 28, 2011 by mos101392
I pray the German authorities do a better job at finding these thugs than they did with those neo nazis. A clear message needs to be sent out that you cannot intimidate someone and get away with it...or you risk it happening again and again and again.
12:14 December 28, 2011 by 9900lawre
And i bet that even if the attackers were found that they would claim some sort of political imunity and the authorities would be to scared to do anything meaningful.
12:32 December 28, 2011 by Jibzy
Mos101392. Anything else you would like to complain about? How abou tthe weather and the economy? I think you didnt complain enough.

9900lawre: You're right. They dont do anything. Thats why we have so much violence in Germany.

I'm not even German and i am tempted to join the nationalists in Germany.
13:54 December 28, 2011 by CensorThis
Prove this was really done by the Syrian government before you give them all the PR.
00:09 December 29, 2011 by wood artist
If...and that's a big IF...it were proved that Syrian officials with diplomatic immunity were invovled, that would be a BIG black eye for Syria, and might even drive Russia and China more towards "action." It would easily cross a boundary that almost no country wants to cross.

More likely they're hired thugs, and as long as they deny any link to "official Syria" the crime is nothing more than a common assault. However, it's quite possible the link he suggests is real.

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