Anti-coronavirus offences push political crime to record in Germany

"The terrible climax of this violence was the murder of 20-year-old Alexander at a gas station in Idar-Oberstein by a man who refused to wear a mask," Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said while presenting the report. More than 7,000 offences were recorded in connection with COVID-19 restrictions and around 7,300 crimes were related to last year's federal election, it added.


Reuters | Berlin | Updated: 10-05-2022 17:16 IST | Created: 10-05-2022 16:31 IST
Anti-coronavirus offences push political crime to record in Germany
Nancy Faeser Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
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  • Germany

Offenses by those opposed to COVID-19 restrictions drove politically motivated crimes in Germany to a record high last year, an Interior Ministry report showed on Tuesday. The number of politically motivated crimes jumped by more than 23% from the previous year to 55,048, the highest level since police started collecting the data in 2001.

The increase was primarily due to a rise in "non-classic" politically-motivated offenses, or crimes not directly associated with far-left or far-right politics, which accounted for almost 40% of crimes last year, the report showed. "The terrible climax of this violence was the murder of 20-year-old Alexander at a gas station in Idar-Oberstein by a man who refused to wear a mask," Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said while presenting the report.

More than 7,000 offenses were recorded in connection with COVID-19 restrictions and around 7,300 crimes were related to last year's federal election, it added. Violent crimes classified as political in nature rose by 16% year-on-year to 3,889. Far-right offenses fell by 7% last year, but still accounted for 41% of crimes.

Anti-Semitic offenses rose by 29% to over 3,000 and almost half were committed in connection with the pandemic. "It is a shame for our country how much anti-Semitic hate speech and contempt for human beings is still being spread today," Faeser said, adding that a big part of the crimes was related to anti-Semitic conspiracy ideologies.

Last year, Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office classified vaccination opponents and coronavirus deniers as a "relevant risk". Concerns have mounted over an increasingly violent pushback against COVID-19 restrictions and vaccination plans after police foiled plots by anti-vaccination activists to murder a state premier in December and to kidnap the health minister last month.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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