REJECTED asylum seekers in Germany’s capital Berlin may be allowed to stay if they have been beaten up by neo-Nazis.
Politicians see the bizarre offer of asylum as a way of way of sending a “strong signal” to hate crime perpetrators.
Berlin’s interior minister Andrea Geisel said the city is looking into the legal possibilities of such an exemption after nearby Brandenburg opted for the scheme.
“I find an exemption, as Brandenburg has introduced, to be a strong political signal to those who believe that ‘whoever wants to chase refugees out of the country must attack them’,” Geisel said.
“To this I say: no. Whoever is a victim of far-right violence will enjoy our double protection and will not be deported.”
Brandenburg became the first state to declare it would give rejected asylum seekers who had been attacked sanctuary after requesting immigration authorities to use their “discretion”.
Rejected asylum applicants who are witnesses to or victims of far-right attacks would not be told to leave until at least the end of the investigation of the criminals who assaulted them.
In serious cases they will be allowed to stay on in Germany even though they had been told to leave.
“Brandenburg has a great public interest in making it clear to suspected perpetrators of violent acts that their victims will have justice through a solid residence and the opposite of what the perpetrators intended will happen,” Brandenburg officials wrote in a statement about the exemption.
The sanctuary offer does not apply to refugees convicted of crimes or terror suspects.
Since 2015 there have been over 2,000 attacks on refugees and their accommodation centres.
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