Number of non-German murder suspects rises: report

The number of closed murder cases involving a "non-German" suspect rose by 33 percent in 2017, according to authorities. Riots in Chemnitz have fueled a debate about the link between foreign nationals and murder.

Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) has recorded an increase of closed murder cases in 2017 involving at least one "non-German" suspect, Welt Am Sonntag reported on Sunday.

The number rose to 83 last year, up from 62 the year before, marking a 33 percent increase.

The figures solely comprise closed cases. The BKA's 2017 report did not specify nationality or whether a suspect was an EU citizen.

More refugees killed

In total, 731 people died as a result of murder or manslaughter in 2017, a 16.6 percent drop compared to 2016. That year, the figure stood at 876.

Politics | 29.08.2018

However, the number of asylum-seekers or refugees killed rose from 25 in 2016 to 40 in 2017.

A debate about the link between foreign nationals and murder in Germany was triggered by riots in the eastern city of Chemnitz.

Read more: German states look to reintegration to reduce migrant crime

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Few foreigners - but a hotbed for xenophobia?

The Chemnitz debate

Last week, a German man was stabbed and later died from his wounds in Chemnitz. A 23-year-old Syrian and a 22-year-old Iraqi man were detained as suspects in the crime and charged with manslaughter.

News of the man's death circulated on social media, triggering protests by far-right sympathizers who, at times, clashed with police. Counterprotests erupted in response

German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a statement decrying the riots, saying that "in no square and on no street should it come to rioting."

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Read more: Violence in Chemnitz: A timeline of events

How the Chemnitz protests unfolded

Death sparks demonstrations

The demonstrations were sparked by a deadly brawl that broke out in the German city of Chemnitz in the early hours of Sunday (August 26). What started out as a war of words resulted in a 35-year-old man being stabbed to death. Hours later, spontaneous, anti-migrant protests took over the streets of Chemnitz.

How the Chemnitz protests unfolded

German-Cuban killed

A German-Cuban man was stabbed in an altercation involving 10 people, several of whom were of "various nationalities," police sources said. The victim, named only as Daniel H., was apparently well-known among various political groups in the area. Two men in their 30s were also stabbed and seriously injured, and a 22-year-old Iraqi and 23-year-old Syrian are in custody over the killing.

How the Chemnitz protests unfolded

Police reinforcements called

By Sunday afternoon, some 800 people had gathered to protest the man's death, including far-right groups. Authorities said the crowd was largely uncooperative and threw bottles at police officers. Police reinforcements had to be called in from nearby cities. The mobilizations were spontaneous and are thought to have surfaced following calls to demonstrate on social media.

How the Chemnitz protests unfolded


German authorities said that that far-right groups spread misinformation on the internet. Among the false claims was that the victim of the knife attack died protecting a woman.

How the Chemnitz protests unfolded

Protests and counterprotests

Thousands of far-right and counterdemonstrators faced off in a second day of protest Monday. Several people were injured as objects and fireworks were hurled. Video footage showed the far-right "Pro Chemnitz" movement holding a banner with a quote from early 20th century poet Anton Günther reading "German and free we aim to be."

How the Chemnitz protests unfolded

'No place for Nazis'

Counter-demonstrators denouncing right-wing extremism also took to the streets of Chemnitz. Among the protesters were Antifa, who clashed with right-wing demonstrators.

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