• otv

Berlin: Law enforcement officials in Germany registered 3,533 attacks on refugees and asylum-seekers in 2016, which resulted in 560 people, including 43 children, being injured, the Interior Ministry said on Sunday.

In addition, the ministry reported that last year there had been 217 attacks against non-profit groups that support refugees and on volunteers from those NGOs, Efe news reported.

According to the report, which was drafted in response to a request by the parliamentary group of the opposition party Die Linke, 2,545 of the 3,533 instances of anti-refugee hate crimes took place outside official reception centres.

The government-run centres were the site of 988 attacks, a slightly lower number than the 1,031 attacks registered in 2015.

"Must there be deaths before right-wing violence is considered a central security problem and put on the interior policy agenda," asked Ulla Jelpke, Die Linke's parliamentary spokesperson in an interview.

Jelpke accused the government of fear-mongering by giving the impression that refugees pose a security threat after passing stricter asylum and immigration laws.

According to the data provided by the ministry, Germany took in 280,000 asylum-seekers in 2016, a 68-per cent decrease compared to 2015, when 890,000 people arrived in the country seeking refuge.

The main causes of this dramatic drop in asylum requests are the closure of the so-called Balkan route and the signing of a refugee repatriation deal between the European Union and Turkey.

This January, almost 14,500 asylum-seekers entered Germany.

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