GERMANY – Between Assad and neo-Nazis: Syrian nationals who fled
the civil war ravaging their homeland are forced to face persecution at the hands of neo-Nazis
and radical right wings activist in Germany.
German neo-Nazis groups are currently protesting against a Berlin
municipality decision to open a new shelter for refugees from Syria
and other Mideast countries in one of the city's eastern suburbs considered by many to be the radical Right's stronghold.
The first refugees arrived at the shelter, which in the past served as a school, only a few days ago and under heavy police protection in a bid to protect them from the neo-Nazi make-shift siege's on the shelter.
Neo-Nazi protest (Archive: AFP)
Hundreds of Berliners have come together to protect the refugees from the radical right-wingers who have formed a human barricade chain around the shelter and the police are separating between the two camps.
In the last seven months 53,000 people – mostly Syrians – have filed asylum requests with the German government, a 90% rise in comparison to the same period last year.
A majority of the shelters – which offers housing to those whose asylum request is still pending – are full to maximum capacity, prompting the Berlin municipality to opt to build a new one in Berlin's Hellersdorf borough. The shelter opened in July and because Germany is currently in local election season, the radical NPD party has boosted their efforts to pull public attention to the issue and have managed to gain a lot of media attention for their efforts.
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