Syrian opposition member attacked in Berlin | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 27.12.2011
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Syrian opposition member attacked in Berlin

A Green Party politician and Syrian opposition activist has been attacked and injured in an assault in Berlin. Authorities are looking into whether the attackers had links with the Syrian secret services.

Ferhad Ahma

Ahma has received several threats in the past

German police say a local politician in Berlin who is active in the Syrian opposition has been injured in an attack by two men in his home.

The Green Party said it suspected the Syrian secret services of being behind the attack on Ferhad Ahma, who represents the party on a Berlin district council. Ahma is also a member of the Syrian National Council, an opposition coalition group.

Police said the 37-year-old Ahma suffered serious bruises and other wounds in the attack, but declined medical treatment.

Attack with metal bars

In a statement, the Greens said two men claiming to be policemen came to Ahma's flat at around 2 a.m. on Monday and beat him with metal bars and clubs when he opened the door.

The party said the attackers' Arab appearance and the fact that Ahma had received previous threats led it to conclude that the attackers had links to the regime in Damascus.

Police say it is still unclear who carried out the attack.

Foreign ministry alerted

The Greens' chief whip in the German parliament, Volker Beck, has called on German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle to summon the Syrian ambassador over the attack.

Syrian protesters carrying a banner calling on UN to help

Anti-regime protesters have called for international aid

"It is unacceptable that a member of the Syrian opposition can be hunted, persecuted and intimidated in Germany by the Syrian services," Beck said.

A foreign ministry spokeswoman said the ministry was following the case closely.

Last Thursday, the foreign ministry said it had summoned Syria's ambassador to Berlin to demand an immediate halt to the brutal government crackdown on anti-regime protesters.

The United Nations says more than 5,000 people have died in bloody violence since protests against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad erupted in March.

Author: Timothy Jones (AFP, dpa)
Editor: Matt Zuvela

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