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Police guard refugee hostel after protests

September 19, 2015

Police have set up a security zone around a hostel in the eastern German state of Saxony to protect refugees from right-wing rioters, who have tried to block the way to the shelter over the last few days.

Deutschland Bischofswerda Rechtsextremismus Notunterkunft Flüchtlinge
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/R. Löb

"It is shameful how certain individuals behave toward those seeking protection," said Markus Ulbig, the state's interior minister, on Saturday. "The aim now is to take the wind out of the sails of potentially disruptive elements."

The move comes after around 100 right-wing rioters protested in front of a new asylum shelter in the town of Bischofswerda on Thursday and Friday night, throwing a bottle at a bus arriving with refugees and shouting racist comments.

About 400 migrants are being housed in the hostel, in a town of about 11,500 people near the Czech border, east of Dresden.

Whereas many Germans have welcomed the refugees and offered support, there has also been opposition, centered mainly in the formerly communist and less affluent east of the country.

Last month, dozens of policemen were injured when more than a hundred right-wing extremists attacked a refugee home in Heidenau, south of Dresden. After the riots, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the shelter and met with refugees, officials and volunteers.

German police reported that about 2,000 new arrivals had crossed the border into Germany from Austria on Friday, 1,700 fewer than on Thursday. They also detained three suspected human traffickers on Friday.

dr/cmk (AP, dpa)