Berlin police say man invented story of Syrian refugee death | News | DW | 27.01.2016
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Berlin police say man invented story of Syrian refugee death

Berlin police say reports a migrant from Syria died outside the city's refugee authority are false. An aid group had earlier reported that an asylum seeker had died while waiting to get registered.

Firemen, police and Berlin's administration said they had found no clue suggesting the death of a 24-year-old Syrian refugee in front of LaGeSo, the regional office for health and social affairs where immigrants were being registered.

Berlin's police posted two messages on Twitter, confirming that the death of the refugee was a lie. "We interrogated the man, who claimed today that a 24-year-old refugee died in Berlin," police said in their first tweet.

"The man explained that he made up the story. No one has died in this connection," the second message said.

"Medical service centers, hospitals, police and the fire brigade, no one has any pointers," a spokesman for Berlin's health and social affairs department told reporters, adding that a lot of staff members had been redirected to find clues about the dead man.

The refugee, a 24-year-old from Syria, was reported dead by a volunteer of the refugee assistance network "Moabit hilft." The post said the man had caught a cold after standing for a very long time in front of the LaGeSo office - notorious for its long queues.

He did not have money or accommodation or a health card, because of which he could not go to a doctor. A volunteer then took the man home, but the Syrian's condition worsened. The man died of a heart attack in an ambulance. The post appeared on Facebook with the headline "Journal of a dying man" and was later deleted.

LaGeSo has been under criticism for its mismanagement of the refugee crisis. Migrants have to wait for a very long time to get a place to stay and money to buy essentials.

mg/jr (AFP, dpa)

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