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News from Germany and Berlin: 28 November, 2020

Compiled by Ana Ferreira


Attacked because she wore a headscarf

On Saturday afternoon at Glockengießerwall in Hamburg, a Muslim woman was attacked and insulted. According to police reports, a 51-year-old woman shouted at the veiled woman and tried to tear off her headscarf. Police officers who were in the area in their free time stopped the attacker. She is also alleged to have kicked the Muslim woman, beaten her and insulted her in the worst possible way. The attacker, who has already been sought by the Kiel public prosecutor's office with an arrest warrant, is said to have spat at a police officer during her arrest. Now she is in custody pending trial. Source: mopo

Only 1% of rapes lead to a conviction

It is very rare for rapists to be convicted. The criminologist Christian Pfeiffer came to this dramatic conclusion in an investigation: just around 1% of raping cases ends up in conviction. Among the explanations for this are that victims report feelings such as shame and fear of carrying on an investigation, and that body examination is embarrassing and performed without empathy. Sexualised violence also poses a challenge for the police and justice as there are usually few or no witnesses and evidence. Specialists believe that the use of video recording as part of court proceedings for such crimes might help once emotions of those affected become more visible. Source: taz

Military intelligence fails in the fight against right-wing extremists

After two years of research, intelligence officers attest gross deficiencies in the prosecution of right-wing extremist suspected cases in the Bundeswehr and the police. According to the paper, the secret service of the Bundeswehr MAD, the Military Counterintelligence Service, has for a long time been far too passive in investigating such incidents. In the Bundeswehr, the elite unit KSK (Special Forces Command) has been targeted in particular. By mid-December, the force must present a report to Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer about how far reforms have been achieved. Source: Spiegel


Berlin landlords pushed on reducing rents

The next phase of the German capital's rent cap law has come into effect. That means that thousands of Berlin landlords could be forced to reduce their rents. But the legal battle shows there is more to come. According to the consumer rights platform “CONNY,” around 75% of its customers eligible for a rent reduction were not informed by the landlords. And last, but definitely not least, a constitutional court decision is still outstanding, and due next year: there is still an open legal question whether the state government of Berlin has the right to impose a blanket rent cap. Source: DW

AfD withdraws speaking rights from 2 MPs

The AfD has withdrawn the speaking rights for three months of two MPs involved in last week’s incidents with troublemakers in the Bundestag. A spokesperson announced in Berlin on Tuesday that the group's executive committee would not accept any proposed speeches for Petr Bystron and Udo Hemmelgarn until the end of February. Brief interventions and interviews with the two are also not to be publicized during this period. Last Wednesday, Bystron and Hemmelgarn invited the visitors who then harassed, pushed and insulted parliamentarians during the debate on the Infection Protection Act. Source: jW

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