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Refugees suffer over 200 attacks in 2014

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Refugees suffer over 200 attacks in 2014
Swastika graffiti at a refugee home in Bavaria with text reading "No asylum seekers". Photo: DPA
12:31 CET+01:00
Refugee NGOs' first annual report on violence against asylum seekers found that there were over 200 attacks on people and accommodation in 2014.

"It's catastrophic that people seeking protection here have to fear racist attacks and assault" said Günter Burkhardt, manager of refugee NGO PRO ASYL.

A list published by the Amadeu Antonio Foundation based on their year-long monitoring of police reports found 153 attacks against refugee accommodation.

That ranged from minor crimes, such as bottle-throwing, through the spraying of racist graffiti and swastikas to 35 arson attempts.

"There has been a mobilization against refugee homes over the last year that's happened via Facebook and the internet," a spokeswoman for Opferperspektive, a victim support organization in Brandenburg, told The Local.

But she added that police didn't always accord refugee cases the highest priority.

"From politicians there's great momentum for sensitivity towards refugees as particularly vulnerable potential victims of racist violence.

"In practice, there's a lot more to be done and little has changed."

Outside the home, 77 refugees fell victim to assaults during 2014, ranging from insults and threats to brutal gang beatings.

The foundation also counted up the number of demonstrations hostile to refugees seen on the streets over the year and found 256.

Of those, almost half (111) were held by the far-right NPD (National Democratic Party).

The NGOs argue that there is a direct connection between increasingly regular xenophobic demonstrations by movements such as Pegida and physical attacks on refugees.

But victims' organizations were more cautious.

Spokespeople for both Opferperspektive and RAA-Sachsen's victim support service told The Local that there had only been small increases in reported attacks in the two states since Pegida demonstrations started in October.

Since the NGOs did not begin their monitoring project until 2014, there are no comparable figures for the previous year.

But federal police (BKA) reported that in 2013 there were more than twice as many violent and propaganda crimes as in 2012.

SEE ALSO: Give refugees holiday homes: Berlin official

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