German neo-nazi bomb attack against pro-refugee activist

Refugees welcome. Artist collective Dies Irae recently replaced bus stop ads in Freital in Germany with pro-refugee posters

By Polla Garmiany in Germany, 27 July 2015:

Pro-immigrants German politician bombed; neo-Nazis suspected

MAINZ, Germany – A German leftist politician who had faced threats for his work in support of refugees and immigrants escaped unhurt, after a bomb exploded outside his home overnight Monday.

The attack, targeting Michael Richter of the Die Linke leftist party, came in the the eastern German city of Freital, near Dresden. Richter and the leftist party are known for their work in support of refugees and immigrants.

Michael Richter’s car exploded in front of his house in Freital, but no one was hurt.

The Die Linke parliamentary group released a statement saying: “The perpetrator or perpetrators have to be swiftly identified and punished. The rule of law cannot stand idly by the increasing violence against refugees and against people like Michael Richter, who take a stand for the well-being of refugees.”

Martin Bialluch, spokesman for Die Linke, told Rudaw: “We have no proof about the perpetrators yet, but Michael Richter was often threatened for his work, by far right or racist groups.”

Neo-nazi anti-refugee sticker in Freital

After several attacks and rallies against refugees and immigrants in the last weeks, the German town of Freital gained renown as a center of far right activists.

In April, a Kurdish student from Syria was shot by neo-Nazis in the German city of Leipzig. Eastern Germany struggles with rising racist and anti-immigrant movements since the unification of East and West Germany in 1990.

“The Kurdish community in Germany condemns the bombing attack against Michael Richter utterly,“ said Mehmet Tanriverdi, chairman of the Kurdish community in Germany (KGD)

“We feel certain that this bombing attack and prior arson attacks against refugee camps are carried out by neo-Nazi gangs. The rising attacks on asylum seekers and refugee camps are alarming and worrisome. The government must do everything in order to provide protection to the people and to hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions,” Tanriverdi added.

Kurdish Ahmad Ibrahim, who has roots in Syrian Kurdistan and lives in eastern Germany, said: “This incident is very concerning. In April they shot this Kurdish boy, and now they even blow up a German politician’s car. My family and I were thinking of moving to Cologne, the people there are way more open.

“They understand that we didn’t leave our homelands for no reason. We left because of war and persecution, and speaking for my family, we would go back immediately after the war.”

Critics slam Danish anti-refugee ad plans: here.

Hungarian government against refugees

This video says about itself:


15 August 2011

Civil Guard Association for a Better Future” (Hungarian: Szebb Jövőért Polgárőr Egyesület) is a Hungarian militant organisation, sponsored by Jobbik, involved in anti-Roma activities in areas such as the town of Gyöngyöspata in early 2011, where they have been accused of intimidating the Roma population with weapons and dogs.

By Markus Salzmann:

Hungarian government takes action against refugees

25 July 2015

The government of Prime Minister Victor Orban is taking drastic action against refugees in Hungary. In doing so, the government enjoys the support of the European Union and is working hand in hand with ultra-right forces in the country.

Hungary has begun the construction of a fence along its border with Serbia aimed at restricting the flow of refugees into the country. The first 150-meter long section was built near the town of Mórahalom, around 180 kilometers south of Budapest, according to the interior and defense ministries. Construction is to be completed by the end of November. The fence will be 175 kilometers long and 4 meters tall. The construction sites are protected in large part by military forces.

The cost amounts to roughly 6.5 billion Forint (21 million euros). That is approximately ten times as much as Hungary’s current annual expenditures for asylum procedures, refugee housing and border security. Just 2,700 refugees are actually awaiting the outcome of asylum investigations in Hungary. Each year less than 500 are admitted.

According to government figures, currently around 1,000 people cross the Serbian border into Hungary each day. Since the beginning of the year, a total of 80,000 refugees have managed to enter the country this way. Most originate from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Kosovo. They are fleeing from the catastrophic conditions created by the war policies of the United States and European powers.

Human rights organizations criticize the planned fence as part of a “propaganda campaign of the government against immigrants.” But hardly any other European government has spoken out against the plans. On the contrary, Hungary’s interior minister Sándor Pintér has confirmed that Hungary’s rigid policies are entirely in line with those of the European Union. He stressed that no protest had been issued from Brussels against the fence.

The inhumane treatment of refugees is not limited to Hungary. Other EU members proceed with similar ruthlessness. In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung last week, German interior minister Thomas de Maizière said it was “absolutely understandable” if people in Germany have “critical questions” about asylum seekers from Kosovo and Albania. That 40 percent of asylum applicants should come from these Balkan states is “a disgrace for Europe and unacceptable,” he said.

The Orban government not only wants to refuse refugees at the border, it also wants to expel them from the cities. A spokesperson for the interior ministry announced that in the future they no longer wanted to have refugees in populated areas. As Orban’s chief of staff János Lázár explained, tent camps should be provided as temporary shelters for them instead. In this way, the local population would “not be disturbed by the crowds of refugees.” One such camp is to be built on the Serbian border.

Orban ranted that asylum seekers are all “economic refugees.” They are “foreign” and would like “to destroy Christian Europe.” Refugees are to be criminalized. It will soon be allowed to lock them up longer than 48 hours.

Orban’s government collaborates closely with fascistic forces. At the beginning of July, neo-Nazis with connections to the ultra-nationalist Jobbik party launched a provocation against refugees and their Hungarian aides at a train station in the border town of Szeged. The police did not intervene to stop them.

The right-wing extremist demonstration against “overrunning hordes from Africa” at the East Train Station was accompanied by the announcement of police measures against refugees. The former Jobbik representative György Gyula Zagyva announced at the demonstration “an array of actions on the border and in refugee camps.” The neo-fascist Jobbik has numerous members in police and intelligence agency circles.

With the building of the border fence and the intensification of the attacks on refugees, the government has adopted the policies of the ultra right. Laszlo Toroczkai, mayor of Asotthalom, a town near Szeged, ordered the building of the border fence a year ago. “I am happy that the government has taken up my idea,” he now says.

Toroczkai had founded the right wing extremist group “64 Burgkomitate” in 2001. This fascistic group advocates the restoration of the pre-World War I borders of Greater Hungary. Toroczkai himself took part in attacks by right wing bands on a Hungarian television station in 2006 and was prohibited from entering three neighboring countries because of his provocative behavior. In 2013, he was elected mayor of a small community near Szeged. He openly advocates threatening and expelling refugees.

In Asotthalom as in other areas of Hungary, fascist militias and the regular police collaborate closely. About 20 militias have been partially armed and sent out in pursuit of refugees. Toroczkai proudly told the press that a vigilante group “surrounded” a group of about 100 refugees spending the night in a park in front of the mayor’s office and watched them “until the police took them away. The collaboration works well.”

The Schweizer Tagesanzeiger reported how the police deal with refugees in Hungary. They bring refugees “into the former prison Nagyfa near Szeged, where they are investigated and registered and receive a provisional identification document.” Then they are released at the Szeged Train Station and have to find their own way to one of the three refugee camps. “Whoever does not succeed at this within two days loses his residence permit. Not all of them travel further into Western Europe. Many are stranded in public squares in front of train stations or under bridges in cities like Szeged or Budapest. This also includes families with small children,” said the newspaper report.

Last week, an immigrant died while fleeing from the police. According to eyewitnesses, the man was staying at a gas station with other refugees. When a police car stopped to take him into custody, he fled onto the highway where he was hit by a truck. His family, including his children, were witness to this scene.

German neo-nazi anti-Syrian refugee violence

This 2013 video is called Rise of Nazi attacks on migrants and refugees in Greece.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today, about Germany:

In Dresden there were riots last night near a new camp for asylum seekers. Just before the arrival of 500 refugees from Syria members of the neo-Nazi NPD sought confrontation with pro-refugee demonstrators.

The approximately 200 NPD members threw bottles, rocks and firecrackers at the marchers. …

Three people were injured in the riots. A woman was taken away bleeding profusely. Eventually, the police put an end to the demonstrations.

German discrimination against east European refugees

Nuremberg swastika vandalism

This recent photo is from Nuremberg in Bavaria in Germany, where Hitler’s nazi party used to have their mass meetings. A building intended for refugees has been vandalized with a nazi swastika and an anti-refugee slogan.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Bavaria will house Eastern European asylum seekers separately

Today, 12:16

The government in the southern German state of Bavaria has decided that refugees from Serbia, Macedonia and Albania should now be housed in separate centers for asylum seekers. There they should hear within two weeks whether they are allowed to stay or not.

Nearly 50 per cent of asylum seekers in Germany comes from Balkan countries, while almost none of them has the right to a residence permit.

Balkan countries like Serbia, Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo were devastated by NATO’s ‘humanitarian’ war in 1999; in which the German Luftwaffe participated. Ever since, privatisation of economies and ethnic violence inherited from the war caused more devastation in these countries. While people like NATO commander General Wesley Clark got rich from privatisation in Kosovo. But refugees from still unsafe Kosovo are unwelcome in Germany.

The violence against asylum seekers increases. In the first half of 2015 in Germany refugee centers were defaced, vandalized or set on fire 150 times. …

The plan is not at all well received. The chairman of the Social Democratic SPD party Yasmin Fahimi thinks that Seehofer “cheaply attacks refugees.”

Commentators also point out the failures of the CSU with some of their political projects in the past period. From the introduction of tolls on the highways, to the kitchen sink subsidy for mothers who stay at home. The party would now like to get attention in this way, says among other people ARD TV commentator Tina Hassel.

Refugees then and now, by Robert Fisk

This video says about itself:

The Truth About Refugees

19 June 2014

For World Refugee Day, Mary Tran, an Amnesty activist and young film-maker, has created a moving and thought-provoking video to highlight the plight of refugees in Australia’s offshore detention centres.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Robert Fisk

Monday 13 July 2015

First rule of refugees – don’t be a Muslim if you want help

We now treat each refugee on the grounds of their race, religion or purpose of flight. We do not treat them as human beings

Nineteenth-century Americans were on safe ground when they inscribed the words of Emma Lazarus on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

A comparatively new country, the United States needed the destitute of Europe – the Irish, the Jews of Russia – to expand their nation. There was no question of referring to the Irish “poor” as “economic migrants” or to those Jews “yearning to breathe free” as “asylum seekers” or “political refugees” from the Tsar’s pogroms.

In the decades to come, however, the world assumed that the “huddled masses” could be returned in safety to their land of origin. Thus US and other “Christian” nations decided that survivors of the 1915 Armenian genocide should go back to what had been their homes in “Western Armenia” (Ottoman Anatolia). And many hundreds of thousands of Armenians lingered on the edge of Turkey in the hope that the victors of the First World War would return them to lands no longer controlled by their Ottoman Turkish killers.

America’s Near East Relief was the first great humanitarian organisation of its kind, and the millions of dollars which it raised in the US saved the lives of countless Armenian refugees – especially orphans – scattered around the Arab world.

Now comes a deeply moving book by University of California human rights professor Keith Watenpaugh who has studied the history of humanitarianism in the Middle East from the files of the League of Nations, the UN’s poor old predecessor.

In the years after the 1914-18 war, the international community abandoned the Armenian “right of return”. Watenpaugh’s research takes in the work of the Aleppo Rescue Home, whose Danish director Karen Jeppe wrote in 1922 that “the Armenian is possessed of a wonderful gift ‘to create bread from stones’.” The quotation is based on Matthew 4: 3-4 and suggests that the Armenians have such resilience that they can perform miracles – and survive as a people.

Watenpaugh’s book, the author acknowledges, “was written at a time when the contemporary ‘Middle East’ descended into a humanitarian disaster that, in its degree of suffering and international indifference, resembles the one that occurred during and following the First World War.”

How right he is. Only of course, the world changed. The humanitarian Americans of the 19th century who welcomed the pogromed Jews of Russia were far less keen to give sanctuary to the Jewish victims of Hitler. Before the Second World War, like European nations, they turned them away. And after the Holocaust, they preferred that Jewish survivors should go to their “true” home in Palestine rather than settle in the US.

British power in Palestine collapsed and 750,000 Arab Palestinian refugees were created. Their existence today and that of their descendants remains a humanitarian scandal. But somewhere, the history of that “today” ended and another scandal began. In the break-up of the present-day Middle East to which Watenpaugh refers, Christian refugees from Iraq and Syria and Egypt – like those Armenians who headed for America and Europe in the 1920s – have generally been received by “Christian” countries. But most of the refugees today are Muslims fleeing Muslims and they are not receiving the same generosity.

I’ve walked around their refugee camps in Lebanon, amid squalor and disease, and talked to mothers who have already lost their children. Last week, I watched them by the hundred streaming towards the Macedonian border with Greece, sweltering in the heat, beaten by border guards in their attempts to enter central Europe. They are tough, resilient, not unlike those Armenians who could “create bread from stones”.

The Americans provided “safe haven” for the Kurds of Iraq in 1991 – after the Kurds had risen against Saddam at America’s bidding. But there are no more safe havens; the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre this weekend is proof enough. And while we now save these people from the waters of the Mediterranean, we do not want them.

Why? Because they are Muslims and not Christians – or “Westerners” as we prefer to call ourselves today? I fear so.

The UN relief organisations, MSF, the Red Cross, Oxfam and the rest cannot hope to protect or resettle the new exodus from the crumbling Middle East. International humanitarianism cannot overcome national sovereignties. If Greece eventually collapses, what will we do with millions of Greek refugees on the edge of our shrunken “Europe”? Treat them with contempt as EU ministers were doing this weekend? Or allow them to dribble north into “our” lands because they are Christian and not Arab Muslims?

Alas, we now treat each refugee on the grounds of their race, religion or purpose of flight (“migration”). We do not treat them as human beings. And thus we betray all our religions and all our cultures.

I have met no one with an answer to this great moral dilemma of our times. But here is the joint statement of a US-sponsored conference in 1927 which acknowledged that international aid was administered with a pro-Christian and anti-Muslim bias after the earlier Middle East catastrophe: “People [in] the field would rather have less money and a statesman-like programme than large sums for objects that are not carefully thought out…”

The key word is statesman-like. The Middle East refugees possessed such a man after the Great War, an individual who cared for the poor and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. He inspired the creation of an international travel document for refugees recognised by 54 states in the case of former Russian citizens (Russians, Poles, Latvian Ukrainians, Turkic Muslims), and 38 in the case of Armenians. He was a polar explorer whose name is now almost forgotten: Fridtjof Nansen. He even won the Nobel Peace Prize. And that, too, has been forgotten.

Neo-nazi violence against refugees in Germany

This video from Germany says about itself:

Back in 2011, VICE Germany gained exclusive access to Jamel—a small town often called a “Nazi village” by the press. Jamel may have only housed around 35 permanent residents, but it skewed pretty heavily toward neo-Nazis and extremists who are mostly members of the far-right NPD political party.

Not just nazi violence in the eastern Ukraine and in the western Ukraine … also in Germany.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Neo-Nazis lay siege to asylum-seekers hostel in Freital as race hate rears its ugly head once again in east Germany

A small town has witnessed ugly scenes as neo-Nazis besiege the Hotel Leonardo, an illustration of the country’s mounting xenophobia

Tony Paterson

Freital, Sunday 12 July 2015

Once a model Social Democrat community where the poor in Germany’s Weimar Republic found help and support, the small town of Freital, just south of Dresden, has become a byword for German racism and intolerance.

Its target is Hotel Leonardo, or rather, the 300 or so asylum-seekers who are now virtual prisoners in the former conference hotel. Thanks to local hostility the building is under a round-the-clock police guard and surrounded by a 10ft-high wire fence. Police patrol cars have blocked off access roads.

Twenty nine-year-old Ibrahim Alalelayan, a medical student who arrived in Germany a fortnight ago after fleeing Deraa, his war-torn home town in southern Syria, says he does not try to go into Freital. “I  prefer not to leave the safety of this place,” Mr Alalelayan told The Independent as he stood in the hostel lobby with other frightened refugees 9 July. …

His anxiety is justified. Since March this year the hotel has been the scene of angry anti-foreigner protests in which the rule of the lynch mob has held sway. Up to 1,200 Freital residents and neo-Nazi hangers-on have gathered outside the hostel on weekday evenings chanting slogans such as “Filth out” and “This is no place to flee to”.

The often-intoxicated mob threw eggs and shot fireworks at the hostel claiming that Freital was “defending itself”. The small groups of local refugee supporters who tried to show sympathy with the asylum-seekers had to be protected by riot police.

On 6 July, local xenophobic fury erupted again at a meeting held by the regional authorities in Freital which had been designed to defuse anger and open a reconciliation process. The meeting was abruptly brought to an end as Markus Ulbig, the region’s conservative Interior Minister, was shouted down and mob rule took control. “They are all illegals,” shouted one woman resident. “We will burn down the hostel,” screamed another. …

Accommodation marked out for asylum-seekers has been set ablaze across Germany since late last year. The most recent arson attack was carried out at a future hostel in the east German city of Meissen last week. … In Freital alone there have been a number of incidents including an assault on an asylum-seeker, and an attempt to firebomb refugee accommodation. …

In Freital, where many say the rise of Communism in East Germany and the disenchantment that followed sparked today’s right-wing backlash, anti-foreigner feeling has been encouraged by members of the region’s Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against Islamification of the West) movement. The group has staged mass demonstrations attracting up to 20,000 people in Dresden earlier this year. Lutz Bachmann, the Pegida leader who posed on Facebook wearing an Adolf Hitler moustache, lives nearby. …

Ines Kummer, one of  Freital’s few Green Party city councillors, said she had been threatened and shouted at by residents for showing support for the asylum-seekers. “Right-wing nationalism and anti-foreigner attitudes have taken root in this part of Germany,” she told The Independent. “Around here the established parties, like Ms Merkel’s ruling conservatives, have not condemned the prevalent racism; they chose to brush  it aside. Now it’s too late.”

British government imprisons raped refugee women, causing self-harm

This video from England says about itself:

Yarl’s Wood: Undercover in the secretive immigration detention centre | Channel 4 News

2 March 2015

The treatment of detainees inside the notorious Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre is revealed in exclusive footage obtained by a Channel 4 News investigation.

Warning: this film contains offensive language from the start.

[Quote from Serco mercenary guard at Yarl’s Wood prison]: ‘They’re all animals. Caged animals. Right? Take a stick in with you and beat them up.’

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Yarl’s Wood medics out weekly to treat self-harm

Saturday 4th July 2015

Attended cases feared to be ‘tip of the iceberg’ for imprisoned immigrant victims of torture and rape

SELF-HARM has become so prevalent at the infamous Yarl’s Wood immigrant removal facility that medics have to be called in at least once a week, the Home Office revealed yesterday.

Newly published figures show that in 2014 there were 61 incidents of self-harm which required medical treatment, while in 2013 there were 74.

However, the figures only cover those incidents in which medical attention was given, leading to concerns that they may only be the tip of the iceberg.

The revelation prompted warnings that immigration detention can cause mental illness and could lead to instances of self-harm among vulnerable inmates, many of whom have suffered torture or rape.

“What you have heard is true,” Ugandan detainee Juliette Akao told the Star by phone from Yarl’s Wood.

“The women here are very depressed and have many problems. Things like this happen every day. There is no proper healthcare or concern about what’s happening. The ladies have to help each other. The situation is very bad.”

Ms Akao, herself a victim of torture, rape and sexual abuse, said that a culture of disbelief that permeates the immigration system was a major problem.

“No-one believes you,” she said. “If you have gone through torture in your own life you think you are coming to a country that respects human rights. But this is an inhuman culture and people need to know what is happening.

“It is very sad that a country like this, which says it respects human rights and criticises others for abusing them, is doing exactly the same thing here.”

The removal centre, near Bedford, is run by profiteer Serco and houses nearly 400 people awaiting deportation, most of whom are women.

In March, Serco suspended two members of staff after a Channel 4 News investigation raised questions about standards of care at the centre, with one officer recorded saying: “Let them slash their wrists” and several others referring to detainees as “animals.”

Medical Justice sends volunteer doctors to see detainees and claims to have seen hundreds of cases of seriously inadequate healthcare.

“In many cases immigration detention exacerbates existing medical conditions and in some cases has been the cause of mental illness,” said co-ordinator Emma Ginn.

“There have been a number of fatalities including self-inflicted deaths and we fear that, with no improvement in conditions, there could be more.”

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said that women who had been sexually abused, tortured or were pregnant should not be detained and called for an “urgent review” of Yarl’s Wood.

“The government is overseeing the worst of all worlds in the asylum system — more people detained, and for longer, with fewer deportations,” she said.

“Too many women are left in a hellish limbo in detention centres.”