• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Refugee women 'abused by camp security guards'
Photo: DPA

Refugee women 'abused by camp security guards'

The Local · 18 Feb 2016, 14:23

Published: 18 Feb 2016 14:23 GMT+01:00

“The sports hall is no emergency shelter for us - it’s a prison,” the refugees said in an open letter to the city seen by the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger.

Around 200 people are currently being housed in the sports hall at the Georg-Simon-Ohm College.

Asylum seekers complain that beds lie next to one another without screens to provide privacy, that there is rubbish strewn across the hallway, and that there are only six toilets and two showers which aren't divided by sex.

The women meanwhile accuse employees at the security firm which runs the emergency shelter of filming or photographing them while they shower or while they breastfeed.

The security personnel ambush the women and try and convince them to have sex with them, the letter claims.

One young Syrian woman, who has been living in the sports hall for slightly more than a month, told the Kölnische Stadt Anzeiger “one asked me if I’d go with him, saying he wanted to be alone with me. When I told him I was taken and I wasn’t interested, he told me I’d soon be kicked out.”

The woman was one of around 70 asylum seekers who showed up in front of the Office for Migration and Refugees to hand in two letters of complaint.

One of the letters demanded that their asylum applications be processed more quickly and an improvement in their living conditions.

The other was from sent only from the women, and complained about “the sexual abuse and harassment from the security personnel” calling for their replacement.

Police who were at the scene of the refugees’ demonstration said that they had to make complaints in order for them to be able to investigate.

A representative from the security company Adlerwache , which controls the hall, defended his employees against the accusations.

Story continues below…

“I am outraged by the accusations. I am certain that they are completely unfounded,” Bernhard Deschamps told the Kölner Stadt Anzeiger.

Ulrich Prößl from the Cologne Refugee Council said that “it would be a catastrophe if the accusations turn out to be true”.

He called for shelters to appoint an independent person to take inhabitants' complaints, saying that “otherwise no one knows what’s going on in there.”

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Merkel party leader admits sexism is a problem
Jenna Behrends complained that a member of CDU's Berlin government had called her a "big sweet mouse" in front of a large group. Photo: Sophia Kembowski/dpa

A leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party admitted Sunday that it has a problem with sexism in its ranks.

Ethiopia's Bekele nears record as wins Berlin marathon
Participants in the Berlin marathon take to the streets on Sunday. Photo:Paul Zinken/dpa

Kenenisa Bekele narrowly missed out on the world record on Sunday as the Ethiopian won the Berlin marathon ahead of former winner Wilson Kipsang.

Europe needs deals to send migrants home: Merkel
Angela Merkal poses with Bulgaria's Prime minister Boyko Borissov (L) and Austrian chancellor Christian Kern (R) in Vienna. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP

Europe needs to secure more deals to send rejected migrants home, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told counterparts in Vienna.

Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline
Children at a a kindergarten in Swabia. Photo: Nikolaus Lenau/Flickr

Is Germany's three-decade decline in birth rate now over?

Trump protesters rebuild and tear down 'Berlin Wall'
The 'Stop Trump' protest at the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA.

US expats gathered at the Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate on Friday "rebuild" the Berlin Wall and protest US presidential candidate Donald Trump's own proposed wall-building.

Accusation of sexism within Merkel's party creates uproar
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Chancellor Angela Merkel, two leading women in the CDU party. Photo: DPA.

A young politician from the ranks of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has caused a storm by suggesting that the party is institutionally sexist.

EasyJet 'in talks to buy German airline' to duck Brexit
Photo: DPA

EasyJet is in talks to acquire TUIfly, a board member of the German carrier said Friday, as the British no-frills airline looks for ways to keep flying freely within the EU after Britain quits the bloc.

Symbols of migrant plight to go on show in Bonn museum
Photo: DPA

A people smugglers' car, a dinghy and a life jacket are among items related to Europe's migration crisis due to go on display at a German museum.

Brexit
Green party demand 'quick and easy' citizenship for Brits
Photo: DPA

The Green party has called for Brits living in Germany to be offered a painless path to obtaining dual citizenship as to "reassure them over the future".

Berlin the new London? 10m2 flat to rent for €750 a month
Photo: Immonet.de.

This shoebox apartment in the gentrified Bergmann-Kiez neighbourhood may be a sign that the tides are turning for Berlin’s comparatively cheap housing market.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
5,753
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd