German politicians’ support for refugees prompts death threats


Several German politicians who have publicly stood up for refugees have received death threats since what police are treating as the alleged politically motivated murder of one of Angela Merkel’s party allies. An email sent to politicians and media organisations across the country on Tuesday night warned that the alleged murder of the Christian Democratic Union politician Walter Lübckeallegedly by a man linked to the far right, was the first in a line of “upcoming purges” and called for terror attacks on left-leaning politicians, refugees and Jews in Germany.

The mayors of the city of Cologne and the western town of Altena, who have both been victims of knife attacks because of their pro-refugee stances, were singled out in the letter. Cologne’s mayor, Henriette Reker, narrowly escaped death in 2015 when she was attacked with a hunting knife by a rightwing extremist who said he had wanted to send a signal against the government’s course on the refugee question.  Altena’s mayor, Andreas Hollstein, was stabbed in the neck in 2017 by a man who had loudly criticised his liberal asylum policy in the North Rhine-Westphalia town. Both confirmed they had received death threats this week.

A police spokesperson would not comment on whether there was a direct link to Lübcke’s murder. Lübcke, who was the president of the regional council of Kassel, was found dead on the veranda of his home in Istha just over two weeks ago. Police have arrested a suspect, Stephan Ernst, who has links to rightwing extremists and previous convictions for politically motivated attacks.(theguardian)…[+]