- December 30, 2017 at 5:48 pm #48439
[quote]BERLIN (AP) — A German police union boss has criticized organizers of Berlin’s annual open-air New Year’s Eve party for designating a special “safety area” for women, saying it suggests they aren’t safe from assault elsewhere.
The comments by Rainer Wendt, who heads the right-leaning DpolG union, come amid an ongoing debate in Germany about how to tackle an increase in sexual assaults.
Wendt told the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung daily in an interview published Saturday that establishing such a safe zone sends a “devastating message.”
“By doing so one is saying there are safe zones and unsafe zones” for women that could result in “the end of equality, freedom of movement and self-determination,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.
Wendt said the move appeared to ignore the “political dimension” in Germany, two years after hundreds of women reported being assaulted or robbed during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cologne. The suspects in most of those assaults were migrants.
The number of rapes and sexual assaults recorded in Germany last year rose 12.8 percent compared to 2015, to 7,919 cases, an increase blamed on an influx of asylum-seekers, many young and male. Statistics for 2017 aren’t yet available.
Experts note that migrants in general aren’t more likely to commit crimes than German citizens, but the proportion of crimes they commit may increase as they start to make up a larger share of the population.
The Cologne incident prompted a bill that makes it easier to prosecute sexual assaults and can see foreigners deported more easily if they are convicted of such crimes.
In Berlin, organizers of the free event that draws hundreds of thousands of revelers to the iconic Brandenburg Gate each year said the “Women’s Safety Area” was requested by Berlin police.
But a spokeswoman for the force said it merely suggested the safe zone following positive experiences at the Munich Oktoberfest, which has long been plagued by drink-fueled assaults.
“This is a good opportunity to offer women a place to retreat to if they feel harassed,” Berlin police spokeswoman Valeska Jakubowski told The Associated Press. She stressed that the area won’t be fenced off, as some media reports claimed, and that those seeking help will be assisted by Red Cross staff who always work at the event.
If women want to report a crime, officers would be available to take their statements, Jakubowski said. Last year, Berlin police recorded 14 sexual assaults at the event including two involving rape or “serious duress.”
Authorities have stepped up public security measures across Germany for New Year’s Eve, with Berlin alone putting an additional 1,600 officers on the streets. Celebrations are traditionally rowdy, with unsafe handling of fireworks causing the majority of incidents.
Other security measures in Berlin include concrete blocks to prevent vehicle attacks and bag searches at entrances to the party area.[/quote]
[quote]New Year’s Eve sexual assaults in Germany
German cities where incidents were reported
Date: 31 December 2015–1 January 2016(CET)
Women were the primary targets of groping and other sexual assaults, including at least 22 alleged rapes.
Attack type(s): Groping, sexual assault, rape,robbery, theft
At least 497 alleged sex-related crime victims out of 1,216 alleged crime victims
At least 612 alleged sex-related crimes out of 1,912 alleged crimes:509 sex-related allegations out of 1,616 allegations in Cologne
109 sex-related allegations out of 296 allegations in Düsseldorf
More in other cities
10 alleged rapes (included above):19 attempted rapes and 8 rapes reported to the police in Cologne
2 reports of rape in Hamburg
Perpetrators: Predominantly North African Asylum Seekers and Illegal Immigrants
No. of participants:
0 convictions of sex-related crimes
4 convictions of non-sex-related crimes
2,000+ alleged attackers[/quote]
[quote]German crime statistics reveal steep rise in violent and political crimes
Germany has recorded a significant rise in politically motivated crimes by foreigners, including jihadis.
The report revealed that rise of migrant criminal suspects in Germany has soared by more than 50 percent.[/quote]
- December 31, 2017 at 12:12 pm #48458GoodsteelKeymaster
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I have an idea! Lets send the migrants back to their sand baked crap hole? Keep our cultures sacred and separate instead of taking every opportunity to do exactly the opposite.
- January 2, 2018 at 10:37 pm #48506
Let’s see how they did
Germany: Revelers enjoy largely peaceful New Year’s festivities
Germany rang in 2018 relatively peacefully amid heightened security and measures to protect women from sexual harassment. However, some clashes with police, firework deaths and harassment incidents were reported.
Revelers in Germany kicked off 2018 amid mild temperatures with loads of fireworks, street parties and outdoor concerts. Despite tight security across the country, there were some isolated reports of violence, harassment and pyrotechnic accidents. DW breaks down what happened during the largely calm — but certainly not quiet — festivities.
Police in the eastern city of Leipzig said on Monday they used water cannon to subdue over 40 partygoers who began to attack the officers and their vehicles with rocks and fireworks.
The crowd first set fire to several dumpsters in the street and became angry when authorities moved in to put out fires.
In the western city of Dusseldorf, police said an unknown driver intentionally steered his car into guests and bouncers at a club. Authorities believe the man was in the club before the incident and that he’d argued with guests there.
Germany has been on high alert since a Tunisian asylum-seeker drove a truck into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin in December 2016, killing 12 people.
German authorities were particularly concerned about protecting women from sexual abuse followingthe mass New Year’s Eve harassment that occurred in Cologne two years ago.
Police in Berlin said that there were 13 reports of sexual harassment and that seven suspects in the cases were detained.
“As always, there was a lot going on in the city,” police wrote on Twitter, noting that they’d fielded 3,084 emergency calls.
Six police officers were injured in the Schöneberg district by groups of people who threw firecrackers and glass bottles at them.
In Cologne, police reported at least nine cases of “sexual offenses” and were able to detain suspects in three of the incidents.
In the southern city of Munich, police said there no cases of sexual harassment or assault reported on New Year’s Eve, but a police spokesperson told news agency DPA “that such cases are often only reported one or two days later.”
Authorities in Germany sought to prevent a repeat of the New Year’s celebrations two years ago in Cologne where hundreds of women were groped, harassed and sexually assaulted by groups of men near the city’s main train station. Among those accused of carrying out the assaults were migrants.
Read more: Cologne police’s New Year’s Eve security tactics spark political debate in Germany
Deaths and injuries from fireworks
Firecrackers left two people dead in the eastern state of Brandenburg. A 35-year-old man and a 19-year-old were killed after their firecrackers exploded in their faces.
An 11-year-old boy in the same region suffered severe facial injuries from a high-explosive so-called “Polish rocket.” Another 14-year-old girl in the eastern state of Thuringia could possibly lose her sight after an exploding firecracker was thrown into a crowd of people where she was standing.
A total of 21 people overall suffered injuries from fireworks in Berlin, five of whom had to have their fingers or hands amputated, an emergency hospital in the capital said.
In one neighborhood in the western city of Bonn, several people were caught on camera shooting fireworks at people on the street from their car. The minute-long video (embedded above) shows pedestrians fleeing from fireworks being shot at them from a red car in the center of the Tannenbusch district of Bonn.
The video spread widely on Monday, although SSIO — a local rapper who filmed the incident — said it occurred on Friday. Bonn police have said they are investigating the video.
- January 2, 2018 at 10:41 pm #48507
Cologne police’s New Year’s Eve security tactics spark political debate in Germany
A year since the Cologne sex assaults, a debate has broken out after the city’s police allegedly “racially profiled” hundreds of North Africans. Authorities have also been criticized for referring to the men as “Nafris.”
Addressing reporters on Monday, Cologne police chief Jürgen Mathies staunchly defended the actions of the city’s police on New Year’s Eve, saying he was “glad” that police had been “so well positioned.”
Responding to claims of “racial profiling,” Mathies said “it was not the appearance, but the behavior of the young men.”
“Cologne police operated with sound judgment,” he added.
“Racial profiling” refers to a procedure in which people are subjected, for example, to special checks or are held based on their skin color. In Cologne on Saturday, police surrounded groups of men that were almost exclusively of North African origin.
Spotlight on Cologne
Cologne’s security services were under pressure on Saturday night to prevent a repeat of the hundreds of sexual assaults and robberies on New Year’s Eve 2015. Some 1,000 men – mostly of North African and Middle Eastern origin – unexpectedly descended on the square between Cologne’s iconic Gothic cathedral and the main train station on December 31, 2015 and molested hundreds of women.
On Saturday, authorities stepped up security with some 3,000 people officers deployed around the western German city. Come New Year’s Day, however, police were under fire for allegedly “racially profiling” hundreds of people of North African descent as they carried out patrols and identification checks.
Cologne police defend NYE security measures
Green party co-chair Simone Peter said the tighter security in the city clearly limited violence and attacks during this year’s celebrations – but she questioned the legality of police tactics.
“It raises the question of proportionality and legality when around 1,000 people were checked and partially detained, based on their appearance alone,” Peter told local German paper Rheinische Post.
On Germany’s political stage, however, Peter’s criticism of Cologne’s police has received little support, with many politicians praising authorities on Monday.
Vice Chancellor and Social Democrats (SPD) leader Sigmar Gabriel said the allegations of “racial profiling” were “an absurd and almost crazy debate.”
CDU General Secretary Peter Tauber said it was hard to believe that the Greens were criticizing the preventive and successful action of the Cologne police as racist.
“This is absurd and unmasks once more the Green multiculturalism and complete lack of reality,” he told the Funke media group.
Later on Monday, however, some Green party members distanced themselves from Peters’ comments. Greens chairwoman Katrin Göring-Eckardt told western German newspaper Ruhrnachrichten that the police were quick and preventive.
Cologne: Police screen North Africans
‘Violation of human rights’
Human rights organization Amnesty International has slammed Cologne’s police, however, and demanded an independent investigation.
“Hundreds of people were surrounded by police or underwent an ID check, purely on the grounds of their actual or supposed North African origin,” Amnesty expert Alexander Bosch said in Berlin on Monday.
Bosch stressed, however, that safeguarding public security was one of the most important tasks of the police. However, he added, despite succeeding in that task Cologne police had ignored the job of protecting people from discrimination.
“Racial profiling is a violation of human rights and not a suitable measure by a legal state to establish public security,” Bosch said.
Cologne police also came under fire for their use of the abbreviation “Nafri” when referring to North Africans in a tweet overnight on Saturday.
“Hundreds of Nafris screened at main railway station,” Cologne police tweeted.
View image on Twitter
Polizei NRW K
#PolizeiNRW #Silvester2016 #SicherInKöln: Hundreds of Nafris screened at main railway station. Details follow. http://url.nrw/silvester2016
3:15 PM – Dec 31, 2016
Twitter Ads info and privacy
Christopher Lauer, a former politician with the protest Pirate party and the SPD, described the term as a “sweeping prejudice against an entire group of people based on their appearance.”
Vice Chancellor Gabriel stood by police chief Mathies, however, saying that “police have done nothing but describe the reality with their profile ‘Nafris / North Africans.'”
Mathies said in hindsight that he thought it was a mistake to use the term on social media, but stood by calling North African men “Nafris” as part of police jargon.
A spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior said, however, that this was “not an official language rule or an official term which we would use.”
- January 2, 2018 at 10:42 pm #48508
Word/Term for the Day
Nafris is the pluralization of NAFRI, a German police abbreviation which stands for “NordAFRikanischer Intensivtäter” meaning “North African repeat offenders”.
- January 2, 2018 at 10:46 pm #48509
Hmmm, German Human rights over free speech is altered in 2018
Germany kicks year off with strict online hate speech law
Social media companies failing to remove offending posts in 24 hours risk huge fines.
Social media companies may have been dreading the fireworks marking the start of the new year.
On Jan. 1, Germany began enforcing strict rules that could fine major internet sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube up to 50 million euros ($60 million, £44 million, AU$77 million) if they don’t remove posts containing hate speech within 24 hours of receiving a complaint.
Read more about online hate.
The new hate speech law, which passed in June, actually went into effect in October but companies had until Jan. 1 to prepare for it. The law requires companies to maintain an “effective and transparent procedure for dealing with complaints” that users can access readily at anytime. Upon receiving a complaint, social media companies must remove or block “obviously illegal content” within 24 hours, though they have up to a week when dealing with “complex cases.”
The rule underscores the new environment social media companies face in 2018 and beyond. Tech giants have been under scrutiny as they grapple with their scale and influence globally and there are new threats of regulation from governments worldwide. In the US, lawmakers have taken a harder stance toward the companies ever since Russian agents abused the sites to try to sway the 2016 presidential election.
The massive amount of hate content, in particular, has been a problem for the sites. In June, Facebook said it removes 66,000 such posts every week. The company said it wants to do better but adds that the task is not easy. Last month, Facebook added new tools to try to curb abuse on the site. One new feature tries to make sure that when you block someone who’s been harassing you, the person can’t simply create a new account and continue the harassment. The tool does that by looking at various signals, like the person’s IP address.
Also last month, Twitter escalated its fight against hate, enforcing an updated policy that bans people from promoting violence and hate in their usernames and bios, and threatens to remove accounts if users tweeted hate speech, symbols and images.
Germany’s government isn’t the only one that wants social media companies to do more about hate speech. While the European Union in mid-2017 acknowledgedFacebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft for doing a better job, the EU said it managed to block twice the volume of hate content at a faster rate than those companies did in the beginning of the year.
“We’re committed to being part of the solution to illegal hate speech and extremist content online — around the world, and in Germany, working within its new legal framework,” a YouTube spokesperson told CNET in an emailed statement. “We’ll continue to invest heavily in teams and technology to allow us to go further and faster in removing content that breaks our rules or German law, and by working with government, law enforcement, civil society groups and other companies.”
Twitter declined to comment.
The increased criticism, meanwhile, has caused Facebook to become more introspective on the negative effect it can have on people’s well-being. The social network said last month that Facebook can play a negative role if people tend to scroll through the feed passively and in isolation, without interacting with other users or sharing messages. The company also introduced a “snooze” feature last month, which lets you mute annoying friends for up to 30 days.
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