- Cottbus, which has hosted 3,000 migrants since 2015, issued a temporary ban
- Two Syrian teenagers were arrested on suspicion of injuring German youth
- Also, a 15-year-old Syrian refugee was asked to leave city following assault
- Meanwhile neo-Nazis took part in an illegal demonstration through city centre
- Cottbus follows other German towns that have also imposed ban on refugees
By – Shari Miller
New refugees are being turned away from a city in Germany, amid fears over rising violence between migrants and right-wing extremists.
Officials in Cottbus, which lies 120km southeast of Berlin, issued the temporary ban after two male Syrian teenagers were arrested on suspicion of injuring a German teenager in the face with a knife.
Just days earlier, a 15-year-old Syrian asylum seeker and his father were ordered to leave the city, after he was allegedly involved in an assault, alongside two other Syrian youths aged 14 and 17.
A 51-year-old man and his wife were said to have been attacked outside a shopping centre.
Meanwhile, Cottbus, which has hosted around 3,000 migrants since 2015, is home to 145 right-wing extremists.
Last weekend, around 100 masked neo-Nazis took part in an illegal demonstration through the city centre.
According to Brandenburg’s state interior minister Karl-Heinz Schroeter, the ban on new refugees would be in effect ‘for the next few months’.
Other measures in effect include increased CCTV surveillance and increased numbers of police officers.
The ban comes just weeks after a study in Germany revealed the recent influx of mostly young, male migrants had led to an increase in violent crime.
The study, by criminologist Christian Pfeiffer and funded by the German government, uses figures from the northern state of Lower Saxony to examine the impact of refugee arrivals on crime in 2015 and 2016.
It attributes a 10.4 percent rise in violent crimes in the state during those two years almost exclusively to refugees.
But it also found that migrants are most likely to be the victims of crime committed by migrants.
In 90 per cent of homicide cases where a migrant was the suspect, the victim was also a foreigner.
His team found that living conditions in detention centres, where dozens of young men of different ethnicities and religions are held together in cramped conditions, contributed to the problem.
More than a million migrants have arrived in Germany after Merkel threw open the borders in 2015 with the pledge: ‘We can do it.’
Cottbus is not however the first city to impose a migrant ban.
It follows Salzgitter, Delmenhorst and Wilhelmshaven in the northern state of Lower Saxony, which last year cited a lack of resources to properly handle the numbers arriving.
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Read more: From 2018/02/01