New Year’s Eve in Germany was a place of nightmares in 2016. Over 1,000 women were reported to have been sexually assaulted by refugees who had streamed into the country in 2015 thanks to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s dangerous open door policy.
More than 2,000 men were alleged to have been involved, and about half of the suspects identified at the time were refugees who had only recently arrived in Germany, the Washington Post reported. The attacks appeared to be coordinated. Cologne was a particular target, with 600 cases having been reported.
In 2016, there were far fewer cases because Germany sent thousands of additional police officers to the festivities. The government also passed much stricter sexual assault laws. This year, Berlin hoped that by creating “safe zones” they could protect women from similar nightmare scenarios. At these zones, located near the Brandenburg Gate, women could report incidents of sexual assault, seek refuge, or seek medical help from the German Red Cross after having been attacked themselves.
Despite the effort, at least 13 cases of sexual assault have been reported to have occurred this New Year’s Eve. Over 1 million people arrived in Germany in 2015 as part of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open door decision. It became tragically clear that they were pouring over the border much too quickly. Merkel’s inability to handle the refugee crisis has led to her tanking popularity.
“Several women sexually assaulted in Berlin during NYE: Safety area a total failure,” Voice of Europe, January 1, 2018:
Berlin’s newly constructed “safety area” for women, could not prevent several sexual assaults during the city’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.
At this moment, at least 13 cases were reported to the police and seven suspects were arrested in the German capital. Police refused to provide information about the ethnicity or the nationality of the perpetrators.
Near midnight, Berlin’s police tweeted that they were receiving the first reports of sexual assaults, a fact that was quickly picked up by German media….
The creation of the safety area was heavily criticised by a German police union boss. He said it communicates a “devastating message”:
“By doing so, one is saying there are safe zones and unsafe zones” for women, a message that could result in “the end of equality, freedom of movement and self-determination”, he said.
Around midnight, Berlin’s police tweeted that they had received the first reports of sexual assaults.
Bei den Veranstaltungen zu #Welcome2018 in #Berlin wurden bislang leider vereinzelt sexuelle Übergriffe gemeldet. Solche Taten dulden wir nicht!
Es wurden Tatverdächtige festgenommen. Wir haben zivile Kolleg. auf der #Festmeile, die gegen diese Taten vorgehen.
— Polizei Berlin Einsatz (@PolizeiBerlin_E) December 31, 2017