Germany aims to deport foreign criminals as riot follows sex attacks

Cologne Germany

Members of LEGIDA, the Leipzig arm of the anti-Islam movement Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA), hold a placard showing German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) as they take part in a rally in Leipzig, Germany, January 11, 2016.

Germany has outlined plans to tighten deportation laws for foreigners in the wake of the series of attacks on hundreds of women in Cologne and other cities on New Year's Eve.

Cologne police said on Monday that the number of complaints related to New Year's Eve rose to 553, about 45 per cent of them involving sexual assault.

According to them, at least 31 people mostly from North Africa or Middle Eastern countries have been charged so far over the attack, 18 of whom have been identified as asylum seekers.

Justice Minister Heiko Maas earlier warned that "those who now hound refugees - on the Internet or on the streets - have obviously just been waiting for the events of Cologne" and were now "shamelessly exploiting" the attacks.

Germany is amending laws to ease the deportation of foreigners with criminal offences amid an on-going backlash over mass sexual assaults on women during New Year's Eve festivities. Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia - where numerous New Year's Eve suspects hail from - all fail to achieve that designation.

The assaults involved between 500 and 1,000 men in Cologne and were apparently carried out by men of North African, or Arab, origin.

Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel answerable for raped German girls

"That means that they [refugees who commit crimes] can lose their residence right away, regardless of whether they have a suspended sentence or a prison sentence", Merkel said in Mainz.Merkel said the proposed measures would be discussed with her government's coalition partners before being introduced for parliamentary approval. Youth sentences would be covered too. Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe is at risk because the refugee crisis isn't under control and promised quick action to speed up the expulsion of asylum seekers who commit crimes in Germany.

Merkel late Monday underscored the urgency of finding solutions as the political fallout from the assaults threatens her open-door refugee policy and passport-free travel in Europe.

Meanwhile, an Indian man was attacked in Cologne by a large group of men and sustained injuries to the face, senior prosecutor Ulf Willuhn said. "That would have a different quality for me, we would be talking about... hierarchical groups". "That would have a different quality for me".

Separately, 32 suspects have been identified by federal police, who have jurisdiction over the Cologne train station security, the Interior Ministry said.

However, "what we see here is perpetrators communicating with each other and making arrangements... of course, we must recognize better where they do this, how they do this".



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