(TW: sexual assault, racism)
At least 90 women have made complaints to police that they were sexually harassed and/or assaulted by gangs of men “of Arab or North African appearance” at Cologne’s central rail station on New Year’s Eve. Police are estimating that between 500 and 1000 men were involved in the attacks, and there’s some speculation they may have been coordinated. This has, of course, brought the racist, anti-refugee faction out in full force. To the credit of Cologne’s mayor Henriette Reker and the German justice minister Heiko Mass, both have emphasised that it is inappropriate to conflate these events with the acceptance of refugees. Mass stated,
Making this an issue through over-simplifications, and connecting it to the issue of refugees is nothing more than misuse of the debate.
Reker is known for her welcoming stance toward refugees, and in October was stabbed in the neck by an anti-migrant terrorist. She stated,
It’s completely improper... to link a group that appeared to come from North Africa with the refugees.