Skip to Content

Berlin

Berlin creates ‘safe zone’ against sexual assaults for New Year’s Eve

This year, New Year's Eve celebrations in Berlin, Germany, will include a "safe zone" for women for the first time ever, organisers say.

Published: December 30, 2017, 5:20 am

    Read more

    The Brandenburg Gate party will have new security measures in place to counter sexual assaults in a bid to avoid the large number of assaults and robberies that marred Cologne’s New Year’s Eve celebrations two years ago.

    The events in Cologne were ignored by authorities initially, heightening tensions further over the large influx of migrants into Germany in 2015.

    Hundreds of women reported being sexually attacked by gangs of migrant men, but politicians tried to downplay the crimes.

    Women who have been assaulted or feel harassed will be able to find support at the “safe zone” on Ebertstrasse, staffed by the German Red Cross.

    The city’s police have also issued warnings to women to carry a small bag with no valuables as hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the New Year’s Eve party on Sunday.

    Large bags, including rucksacks, will be banned as well as alcoholic drinks during the event.

    A special safe zone for women at large public events has not been welcomed by some critics. They say perpetrators of sexual violence should be singled out instead, while others complain it is “discriminatory”.

    Cologne officials set up a “security point”, staffed by social workers and psychologists, at the city’s 2016 carnival following the New Year’s Eve attacks.

    The Cologne police chief Juergen Mathies also said at the time that “the identities of 650 people were checked of whom, based on police officers’ assessments, around 98 to 99 per cent – almost all of them – were from North Africa”.

    He told the BBC that the mass questioning of North Africans were done “because we recognised corresponding aggressive behaviour amongst them”.

     

    Several cases of exhibitionism meanwhile, have recently been reported in Augsburg. Migrant men have been exposing themselves on busses, street trams and regional trains, including harassing young children.

    Augsburg police are currently investigating two alleged serial perpetrators. The men, a Syrian and an Afghan asylum seeker, have been taken into preliminary detention, while a third exhibitionist is still being sought.

    One of the suspects, a 20-year-old Afghan, confessed to four instances of exhibitionism, according to a police spokesman.

    The man exposed himself in street trams in front of girls. All of the victims are only ten and eleven years old, the Augsburger Allgemeiner reported.

    The arrest of the suspect came thanks to the alertness of a criminal investigations officer, and a chance meeting. The investigator went downtown in his spare time on Friday. As he is professionally concerned with the case, he knew the images from the surveillance cameras of the street trams that show the suspect.

    The officer accidentally encountered the 20-year-old and recognized him. He informed his colleagues and they arrested the man, who did not resist, near Curt Frenzel Stadion.

    On Saturday, police caught a second man, who is allegedly responsible for at least seven cases of exhibitionism. He is a 32-year-old Syrian. He has not confessed yet. But police think that the man harassed mainly young girls and women — also on public transport, especially in Oberhausen.

    The 32-year-old did not just expose himself, but also touched the victims. The youngest victim is ten years old. He allegedly also exposed himself before three boys between the ages of ten and eleven years.

    The case of the 30-year-old black African, who always had a white tablet PC with him during his deeds, have not yet been resolved, however. The search for him is continuing.

     

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Is Yulia Skripal a hostage of the British government?

    LondonYulia Skripal, the daughter of a former Russian spy, is alive, but has leveled no accusations at Russia for her alleged poisoning in the Skripal affair. She appeared on camera with a fresh scar on her throat from a trachea cut.

    Marine rips into Macron’s failed policies in live interview

    ParisMarine Le Pen, leader of the Front National, was a guest on the political talk show on French television where she ripped into unpopular President Macron's failing policies.

    Scandal shakes German refugee authority: Cash for asylum

    More than 25 000 asylum cases will have to be re-processed after Germany's Federal Office for Refugees and Migration (BAMF) became mired in a corruption scandal at its regional office in the northern city of Bremen.

    Britain’s claims about Skripal affair ‘precarious’ says German media

    BerlinGerman intelligence already had a sample of the nerve agent used to poison the Skripals in the United Kingdom at least two decades ago. And so did the US and Britain.

    Crisis brewing in ‘parking lot for migrants’

    Some 120 000 migrants are currently heading towards Croatia, en route to enter the European Union via the popular Western Balkan route. Croatian police have been put on alert.

    US newspaper urges Ukraine to bomb Kerch Strait bridge

    As Russian President Vladimir Putin opened the Kerch Strait Bridge connecting Crimea with mainland Russia on Tuesday, an opinion piece in an American newspaper urged Ukraine to bomb the bridge.

    Large EU firms are pulling out of Iran

    Major European firms have started to pull out of Iran to avoid being hit by harsh US sanctions despite tough talk by EU leaders.

    Leaked Italian manifesto suggest lifting of anti-Russian sanctions

    RomeIn a leaked manifesto, entitled Government for Change, calls for sanctions against Russia to be scrapped in Italy have been revealed. If this happens, Germany and France, could soon follow suit.

    Hungary and Poland stand firm against EU’s immigration plans

    WarsawAt the beginning of this month, 58 European and African countries gathered in Morocco in Marrakech to discuss issues such as migration and development. The EU plans to support immigration to Europe, not to stop it.

    Italy inching towards forming new government

    Leader of Italy's 5-Star Movement (M5S), Luigi Di Maio said that a fresh meeting with League chief Matteo Salvini on the formation of a new government went well on Friday.

    Go to archive