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Berlin opposes 'privileging' victims of racist violence

The government opposes extending residency rights for foreign victims of German anti-immigrant violence, media report. The Interior Ministry's statement came in response to an inquiry from a Green deputy.

The German government opposes extending residency rights for foreign victims of German anti-immigrant violence, according to an article set for publication in Friday's edition of the "Tagesspiegel" newspaper. The Interior Ministry made the government's position clear following a request for information from the Green deputy Volker Beck. 

"For reasons of general prevention," it is "fundamentally alien" for the German legal system to make exceptions to the law based on the "alleged culprits or as reparation for the victim," the Interior Ministry wrote, according to "Tagesspiegel." Officials fear that it would create a "privilege for foreign victims of right-wing violence over other, foreign as well as German, victims of violence."

Beck said he was not convinced by the government's response, "Tagesspiegel" reported. He noted that residency permits for victims of racist violence would not privilege foreign-born people over Germans - "who can remain in Germany without one anyway."

In December, Brandenburg's state Interior Ministry decreed that victims of racist violence whose asylum applications had been rejected would no longer be deported, at least for the duration of the investigation into their assaults and the trial, should authorities choose to pursue one. Brandenburg enacted its extension as an act of restitution for victims and to show assailants that violence doesn't help - that, in fact, it had the opposite effect for the people whom they were trying to drive from Germany. In November, the Bundestag voted down a proposal from the Left party to offer residency to foreign victims of racist violence in Germany.

In its response, the government mentioned that last year police registered 527 attacks specifically on people who had applied for asylum - or roughly 1.5 per day. In recent years, German officials have worked to reduce eligibility for asylum and speed up the deportations of people they reject

mkg/sms (kna, epd)

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