German police probe 'mistreatment' of asylum seekers

Employees of a private security firm at a refugee shelter in Burbach are photographed posing alongside handcuffed, prone man.

German police probe 'mistreatment' of asylum seekers

World Bulletin / News Desk

A private security firm in Germany has been suspended after media reports surfaced of its staff members apparently mistreating people at a shelter for asylum seekers.

The incident in the German state of North Rhine Westphalia was reported on by several German media groups Sunday.

Hagen city prosecutors and police held a press conference about an investigation into the allegations, which reportedly happened in a home for asylum seekers in Burbach.

According to a statement by the regional Interior Ministry, the private security company was relieved of its duties after the incident was made public.

It was reported that at least four members of a security team from the ‘European Homecare Company’ systematically humiliated and mistreated asylum seekers on an undisclosed date.

Police and prosecutors displayed a cellphone photo showing a man, face-down on the floor adjacent to two posing security staff. One is standing and has his boot on the head of the prone man.

"These are images that are otherwise only known from Guantanamo," said Hagen police chief Frank Richter, referring to the U.S. prison camp.

Richter said that there were no signs of a xenophobic background to the incident.

North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Ralph Jaeger has called for a rapid investigation into violent attacks by private security guards on asylum seekers.

"We will not tolerate violence against asylum seekers. [Those] who threatened and harassed people in need must be severely punished," Jaeger said in a statement.

Last Mod: 29 Eylül 2014, 11:47
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