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Protesters across Germany rally against discrimination

Everyone has the right 'to live a life fit for a human being,' organizers said in a statement. The demonstrations follow a surge of attacks against refugee shelters, and the Orlando shootings in the USA.

Protesters across Germany gathered on Sunday to rally against racism in light of an increase in attacks against asylum shelters.

In Berlin, demonstrators came together at an event that began at 2:00 pm local time (1200 UTC). Groups also staged smaller rallies in Hamburg, Munich and Leipzig.

"We want to build a human chain to symbolize our support of a Germany and a Europe that is open to the rest of the world, respectful of human rights and proud of its diversity," the organizers said in a statement.

The organizers, supported by human rights watchdog Amnesty International and pro-migrant rights organization Pro Asyl, called for protesters to "stand up for an open society" and "encourage participation and integration."

"Everyone has the right to live a life fit for a human being, to have affordable accommodation and access to education and work," the organizations said.

Earlier this month, Amnesty criticized German authorities for failing to adequately protect refugees following a surge in attacks against shelters.

"German federal and state authorities need to put in place comprehensive risk assessment strategies to prevent attacks against asylum shelters. Further police protection is urgently needed for shelters identified at highest risk of attack," said Amnesty's EU researcher Marco Perolini.

The rallies also come a week after Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured over 50 others when he opened fire in a gay nightclub in Orlando.

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