Thousands of women were allegedly sexually attacked on New Year’s Eve in Cologne, Germany by men of “Arab descent” just two years ago, and this year, German officials are hoping to prevent that from recurring.
According to the BBC, at the beginning of 2017, “The city’s police chief said about 650 North African men were checked because some of them were acting aggressively.”
News of the attacks took days to come out, but when it did, it resulted in mass demonstrations against Germany’s lack of migrant vetting and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s vowto allow even more migrants into the country.
Holger Münch, president of the German Federal Crime Police Office, said the suspects of the New Year’s Eve assaults “have been in Germany less than one year.” “There is a connection between the emergence of this phenomenon and the rapid migration in 2015,” Münch told Sueddeutsche Zeitung. Many suspects came to Germany from North African countries, according to the Federal Criminal Police Agency document.
This year, the city of Berlin is expecting hundreds of thousands of people at a big New Year’s Eve celebration at the Brandenburg Gate.
The BBC reports that a “safe zone” is being set up for women who “have been assaulted or feel harassed”:
A large number of assaults and robberies targeting women at Cologne’s New Year’s Eve celebrations two years ago horrified Germany. Hundreds of women reported being attacked by gangs of men with migrant backgrounds. …
Women who have been assaulted or feel harassed will be able to get support at a special “safety zone”, staffed by the German Red Cross, on Ebertstrasse.
The BBC notes that some are upset about the zone:
But the idea of a special safe zone for women at large public events has not been welcomed by everyone.
Critics say it does not tackle the perpetrators of sexual violence, while some others complain it is discriminatory.
Carol Baraniuk on Twitter also thought there was something amiss:
Merkel’s immigration policies came up:
Wouldn’t it make more sense to make the whole country safe for women with strict immigration laws? Do men and women really need to be separated to ensure nobody breaks the law? Or should the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room be addressed and handled? Some cultures refuse to address the tough issues.