Wave of attacks in Cologne: 18 asylum seekers among suspects

plusieurs-personnes-rassemblees-devant-gareThe suspects identified to date after the violence on New Year’s night in Cologne are mostly refugees, said Friday the German government that reflects a hardening of the regime of expulsions.

According to a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, the Federal Police conducts audits of 31 “suspects” in total, including 18 asylum seekers, for violence and theft that occurred on New Year’s Day’s Eve in the Rhineland town (west).

This group of people includes nine Algerians, eight Moroccans, four Syrians, five Iranians and one Iraqi Serb, he detailed.

But there is confusion about the exact state of the investigation: the federal side, the Department does not suspect status regarding sexual abuse themselves or mention of interpellation.

For its part, the Cologne police reported over 120 complaints, of which three quarters for acts of sexual violence, and referred 16 suspects.

But lack of coordinated communication, and due to a very restrictive Cologne communication and therefore controversial of law enforcement, impossible to know if some of these numbers overlap or added.

The local police for his part said Friday that two pickpockets 16 and 23, originating in Tunisia and Morocco, present the night of the incident, were arrested in possession of mobile phones containing sexual abuse videos.

The national debate focuses on the presence of refugees among the authors troubles when the country hosted in 2015 a record number of 1.1 million asylum seekers and the mass influx raises the growing concern of part of opinion.

“We must significantly reduce the number, we can not accommodate every year one million refugees,” said Friday the leader of the deputies of the Social Democratic Party, Thomas Oppermann.

As did several officials on Tuesday in the discovery of the New Year incidents, one of the spokesman of Chancellor George Streiter, Friday called for avoiding amalgams.

“It is not a question in the first place (a problem) of refugees, but (of a problem) crime,” he said, noting that people arrived in the country suffered and there come to seek protection.

But at the same time, conservative politicians like Social Democrats, in power together in Berlin, seeking to send a firm message on house rules in Germany, particularly with regard to those who violate German law.

Regarding the latter, the debate on faster and more effective deportation procedures is growing.

“We need more police, a better-equipped justice and tougher laws to, among others, expel criminal foreigners”, told Friday Volker Kauder, parliamentary leader of the CDU in Der Spiegel .

Merkel herself was the so-called standby ready to consider “if all that is necessary has been done on expulsion procedures to send a clear signal to all those who will not respect our laws.”

“Citizens expect that those who do not have the right to stay out of the country,” insisted Mr Kauder when his party meets this weekend in Mainz (southwest) and plans to pass motions providing judicial hardening.

The SPD, initially more reserved on the hardening of expulsion rules, appeared Friday also go in this direction. “We must examine all possibilities of international law in order to remove criminals asylum seekers to their country, said its chairman Sigmar Gabriel Bild daily.

German law currently requires a conviction of at least three years in prison for allowing the deportation of an asylum seeker during the examination of his case to the additional condition that his life or his health are not threatened in their countries of origin.

The violence of the New Year at Cologne, according to witnesses committed by men of seemingly “North African” or Arab “deeply shocked Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel put a bit more pressure because of its policy of openness to refugees from Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan. Several politicians have made the connection between the policy and the aggressions.

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