Rights experts call for calm after string of violent attacks

Human rights groups and legal experts are warning the government to react responsibly to the attacks and rampages which have taken place in Germany in recent days.

Rights experts call for calm after string of violent attacks
Bavaria has called for soldiers to protect the German border. Photo: DPA

Amnesty International criticized a proposal from leaders of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the conservative party which rules Bavaria, to deport refugees who are considered dangerous into war zones.

“No human should be deported to a country in which his life and freedom are put in danger,” said Andrea Berg, head of Amnesty’s refugee group.

Joachim Herrmann (CSU), interior minister in Bavaria, raised the possibility of deporting people to war zones after a young refugee attacked train passengers with an axe last Monday and a Syrian man blew himself up in Ansbach on Sunday. Both had pledged allegiance to terror group Isis.

The Armed Forces Association also distanced itself from calls for soldiers to be deployed during and after terror attacks, a possibility again controversially mooted by Herrmann.

“We believe in a difference between security outside the country and security within it, just as the constitution sets out. The army is not a supplementary police force,” said spokesperson Andreas Steinmetz.

After the gun rampage which took place in Munich on Friday evening, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said that military police in the city had been on standby. The admission was met with criticism by political opponents who said that the army is not trained to deal with internal security situations.

Attorney General Peter Frank also warned about rushing to extend the powers of intelligence and security services.

It is correct to discuss whether the legal capabilities of Germany’s security services are sufficient, he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, but this must be done calmly and over time.

The federal government has already announced plans to stock up security at borders and airports in response to four violent rampages which took place in less than a week in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, leading to 13 deaths and dozens of injuries.

The Bavarian government has also pledged to continually increase manpower in its police force in a policy paper seen by the Funk Media Group on Wednesday.

“We expect the same from other states and from the federal government,” the policy paper stated. “In addition, the Bavarian government believes that the army should be used to secure German borders if the federal police can’t cope with the job.”