Information on the response of German police/authorities to racially motivated crimes, on the proportion of racially motivated crimes which result in prosecution and conviction, and on whether the proportion is different for crimes which are not racially motivated [DEU16454.E]

According to a January 1994 report issued by the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, a total of 8,109 racially motivated crimes including attacks, dissemination of racist propaganda, threats and incitement of racist behaviour were reported in 1993 (The Week in Germany 21 Jan. 1994). Seven thousand, one hundred and twenty one such crimes were reported in reported in 1992 (ibid.). The report added that the number of violent crimes carried out by right wing extremists against foreigners decreased from 2,283 in 1992 to 1,322 in 1993.

Human Rights Watch reports that in 1992 and 1993 there was significant evidence, particularly in eastern German states, of police unwillingness or inability to respond to calls related to racially motivated attacks (Human Rights Watch Dec. 1992, 221). Amnesty International also reported cases of police inaction in the 1992-1993 period as well as cases of police ill-treatment of asylum seekers (1993, 135).

A representative of Helsinki Watch in New York, stated that there have been a number of cases where police failed to respond to calls for assistance by minorities (3 Feb. 1994). She also cited cases where police took over an hour to respond to calls placed from only a block or two away, and cases where police had failed to follow standard investigative procedures (ibid.).

Another report cite cases where police released right wing extremists detained for fire-bombing asylee apartments after only a few hours (Country Reports 1992 1992, 787). The same report also cites an overall hesitance in the government's response to racially motivated crimes, and insufficient police protection of known targets of racist violence (Lawyers Committee for Human Rights 1993, 130).

However, following the Rostock riots of August 1992, federal officials reinforced police forces in eastern Germany (Country Reports 1992 1992, 787), banned a number of neo-nazi groups (Lawyers Committee for Human Rights 1993, 128), and cracked down on the racist music industry (ibid., 128-29).

Federal and state ministers responsible for internal security have taken steps to strengthen their cooperation in combating racist violence (Country Reports 1992 1992, 787),
neo-nazi extremists and their supporters are now registered in the central police register, and the government has announced plans to create special police and judicial units to combat racist activities (Lawyers Committee for Human Rights 1993, 128-29). According to the source at Helsinki Watch in New York, the government has also reallocated personnel and resources within the Federal Criminal Office and the Office for Protection of the Constitution in efforts to combat racist violence (3 Feb. 1994).

The government has also asked courts to strip two right wing leaders of the right to disseminate their views (Lawyers Committee for Human Rights 1993, 128-29), while the prosecutions of extremists involved in lethal attacks on foreigners have resulted in life sentences (Time 20 Dec. 1993).

According to the director of Germany's internal intelligence service, German police were able to solve 60 per cent of violent racially motivated crimes in the period preceding October 1993 as opposed to fewer than 20 per cent in the same period of 1992 (AP 17 Oct. 1993). Sources at the Forum Buntes Deutschland e.V. - SOS Rassismus in Bonn were unable to corroborate these figures (4 Feb. 1994).

For additional information concerning racially motivated criminal activity in Germany, the government's response, and available criminal statistics, please refer to the attached documents.

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

References

The Associated Press (AP). 17 October 1993. AM Cycle. Arthur Allen. "German Violence: Right Wing or Wild Thing?" (NEXIS)

Amnesty International. 1993. Amnesty International Report 1993. New York: Amnesty International U.S.A.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1992. 1993. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office.

Forum Buntes Deutschland e.V. - SOS Rassismus, Bonn. 4 February 1994. Telephone interview with representative.

German Federal Ministry of Justice. 1993. Suppression of Right-Wing Extremist Activities, particularly of a Xenophobic and Anti-Semitic Nature, in the Federal Republic of Germany. Bonn: Federal Ministry of Justice.

Helsinki Watch. New York. 3 February 1994. Telephone interview with representative.

Human Rights Watch. December 1992. Human Rights Watch World Report 1993. New York: Human Rights Watch.

Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. 1993. Critique: Review of the Department of State's County Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1992. New York: Lawyers Committee for Human Rights.

The Week in Germany. 21 January 1994. "Verfassungsschutz: Overall Number of Rightwing Crimes Rose in 1993, but Violence Against Persons Dropped: More Activity in West." (NEXIS)

Time Magazine. 20 December 1993. "Crime and Punishment: A German Court Sends a Message by Giving Stiff Terms to Right-Wing Killers."

Attachments

Amnesty International. 1993. Amnesty International Report 1993. New York: Amnesty International U.S.A, pp. 134-35.

The Associated Press (AP). 23 December 1993. Arthur Allen. "German Violence Abates, But Hard Core Remains." (NEXIS)

The Associated Press (AP). 17 October 1993. AM Cycle. Arthur Allen. "German Violence: Right Wing or Wild Thing?" (NEXIS)

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1992. 1993. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, pp. 786-87.

Facsimile received by DIRB. Polizeiliche Kriminalstatistik Bundesrepublick Deutschland: Berichtsjahr 1992. 1993. Wiesbaden: Bundeskriminalamt

Facsimile received by DIRB. Statistisches Bundesamt. 1993. Strafverfolgung 1991 (Vollst├Ąndiger Nachweis der Einzeinen Straftaten). Weisbaden: Statistisches Bundesamt.

The Financial Post. 31 August 1992. National Edition. Nomi Morris. "Tide Starts to Turn On German Refugee Crisis: Politicians Bow to Cries of `Foreigners Out,' Pledging to Slow the Flow of Asylum Seekers." (NEXIS)

Freedom in the World: The Annual Survey of Political Rights and Civil Liberties 1992-1993. 1993. London: Freedom House.

Human Rights Watch. December 1992. Human Rights Watch World Report 1993. New York: Human Rights Watch, pp. 219-23.

Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. 1993. Critique: Review of the Department of State's County Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1992. New York: Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, pp. 128-31.

The National Journal. 20 November 1993. Dick Kirschten. " An Ugly Blemish That Can't Be Powdered Over." (NEXIS)

The New York Times. 12 December 1993. Late Edition. Stephen Kinzer. "The World: Going Underground; In Retreat, Europe's Neo-Nazis May be More Perilous." (NEXIS)

Reuters. 10 December 1993. BC Cycle. Marcu Kabel. "Germans Warned That Neo-Nazis Forming Underground." (NEXIS)

Time Magazine. 20 December 1993. "Crime and Punishment: A German Court Sends a Message by giving Stiff Terms to Right-Wing Killers."

The Week in Germany. 21 January 1994. "Verfassungsschutz: Overall Number of Rightwing Crimes Rose in 1993, but Violence Against Persons Dropped: More Activity in West." (NEXIS)