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Have public servants been reported as being perpetrators of racist violence/hate crime?

Key Area:
Anti-racist Crime Legislation & Implementation
20/12/2011 - 14:33
Short Answer


Qualitative Info

In its fourth country report on Germany, ECRI criticised the 'lack of an independent investigation mechanism to deal with complaints against the police' in the context of possible racist misconduct. According to ECRI, 'this gives rise to increased speculation as to a possible racist context, in particular in cases where members of visible minorities have died while in police custody' (ECRI 2009, p. 8). Amnesty International (AI 2004) published a report in early 2004 highlighting problems of misconduct within the police forces, migrants being particularly often the victim of such violent misbehaviour. These accusations have been backed up by the NGO Aktion Courage, which published a report on police misconduct towards foreigners, presenting a compilation of 70 such cases recorded between 2000 and 2003 (Aktion Courage 2004). The annual report of the Commissioner for the Armed Forces in Germany usually contains statistics on the number of 'special incidents' with an alleged extreme right-wing or xenophobic background. In 2009, 122 such incidents were recorded, most of them were described as propaganda offences (e.g. Hitler Salute, playing right-wing extremist/xenophobic music, xenophobic comments or smearing); in 2009, cases of violence were not recorded in this category. (Federal Parliament 2010)



Aktion Courage (2004), Polizeiübergriffe auf Ausländerinnen und Ausländer in Deutschland 2000-2003, Press release, 13.01.2004.

Amnesty International (AI), Erneut im Fokus - Vorwürfe über polizeiliche Misshandlungen und den Einsatz unverhältnismäßiger Gewalt in Deutschland, Country Report Germany, 14.09.2004.

European Commission on Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) (2009), Fourth Country Report on Germany – fourth monitoring cycle.

Germany Federal Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag), Unterrichtung durch den Wehrbeauftragten, printed matter 17/900, 16.03.2010.

Groups affected/interested Migrants, Refugees, Roma & Travelers, Ethnic minorities, Linguistic minorities, Asylum seekers
Type (R/D) Anti-migrant/xenophobia
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas
External Url
ECRI Report on Germany