Germany urged to take active stance against racism

The German Institute for Human Rights has warned German politicians that active, decisive action against growing racism must be made.

Germany urged to take active stance against racism

World Bulletin / News Desk

The German Institute for Human Rights has warned against growing racism in Germany and urged the government to take an active stance in combatting it.

The institution, or DIMR, called in a report submitted to the UN’s anti-racism body Tuesday for comprehensive reforms in the police and judiciary to effectively combat racial discrimination.

The DIMR stated: "The expression of racist views in the public sphere is on the rise in Germany.

"Politicians should speak out and take decisive action against any racist statement in the political sphere and in public life."

The UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) will discuss the report during the periodic review of Germany’s human rights record from May 5 to 6 in Geneva

'Racist views'

Dr. Hendrik Cremer, human rights expert at DIMR, told The Anadolu Agency his organization was concerned about the rise of racist views.

He said: "... a rise of racist views in the public sphere ... is noticeable with the emergence of racist movements like PEGIDA.

"In recently formed parties like AfD, some leading members are openly expressing support for PEGIDA."

Islamophobic movement PEGIDA has been making headlines in Germany and abroad for months after gathering thousands of people for anti-Islam rallies organized in the eastern city of Dresden.

PEGIDA has significantly increased its support base over a period of months and inspired dozens of copycat groups in other major German cities.

DIMR warned in its report that racist attitudes were not limited to far-right extremists.

"A novel aspect of the PEGIDA demonstrations is that the participants come from both the far-right and the political mainstream," the report noted.

 'Change needed'

Cremer said that despite a growing use of racist expressions in the public sphere, many Germans had a narrow understanding of racism and often tended not to recognize views as “racist” if they were not expressed by violent or neo-Nazi groups.

“The term racism is usually understood in a limited way, as organized or violent right-wing extremism. This should change. We should adopt a broader definition of racial discrimination,” he said.

DIMR’s report criticized the police and judiciary for not properly handling racist offenses in recent years and said more efforts were needed to put an end to discriminatory behaviors in administrative bodies.

He said: "The fight against racism should be taken more seriously by the German government and federal states.

"We need systematic reforms in the fields of police and judiciary. We also need reforms in the professional training of personnel from the police and judiciary."

DIMR said the unresolved murder cases carried out by the neo-Nazi terror cell NSU in Germany had revealed the need for reform in the police and judiciary.

It proposed reforms that would oblige police to investigate racist motives at the first stage, when immigrants or foreigners become the victim of a criminal offense and recommended special and obligatory training programs for personnel from the police and judiciary to raise awareness of racism.

 'Unfair treatment'

DIMR also demanded statistical recordings exclusively for racially motivated crimes.

The National Socialist Underground group, or NSU, killed at least eight Turkish immigrants, a Greek worker and a German policewoman between 2000 and 2007, all apparently without arousing the suspicions of the German police or its intelligence services.

For years Germany’s police and intelligence service excluded any racial motive for the murders and instead treated immigrant families as suspects with alleged connections to mafia groups and drug traffickers.

The German public first learned about the NSU and its role in the murders in November 2011, when two members of the group reportedly died in a murder-suicide following an unsuccessful bank robbery.

A third member of the NSU, Beate Zschaepe, is currently under arrest, but remains silent.

Some recent revelations unveiled ties between the far-right extremists and the informants of the domestic intelligence agency.

But German authorities denied there have been any relationship between its agents and the NSU murders.

Last Mod: 05 Mayıs 2015, 21:26
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