Germany: Death threats sent to pro-refugee politicians

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As the investigation into the murder of Walter Lübcke intensifies, Cologne’s mayor and several other German politicians have had their lives threatened. Police say the threats likely also stem from right-wing extremists.

A death threat was sent to Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker  (pictured), police confirmed on Wednesday, just weeks after a German politician was murdered in what authorities believe was a “right-wing extremist” attack.

Police in the western German city told the mass-circulation Bild newspaper that the threatening note is believed to have been sent by someone active in the right-wing extremist scene.

It is not yet clear whether the threats are connected to the shooting of Kassel regional president Walter Lübcke, who was killed in early June in what appeared to be an execution-style assassination.

While campaigning in 2015, Reker suffered serious injuries when she was stabbed by a right-wing extremist wielding a hunting knife. The attacker said he targeted Reker because of her pro-refugee stance.

 

Other pro-migrant mayor threatened

The case is now being handled by investigators in Berlin, as several German politicians have also recently received death threats.

According to local public broadcaster WDR, one of the other politicians targeted was Andreas Hollstein, the mayor of the western town of Altena.

Like Reker, Hollstein was also stabbed, in 2017, by a man who shouted anti-migrant remarks before slashing the politician’s neck with a knife in a kebab shop.

The recent killing of Lübcke, who was also known for his support of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policies, has raised fears about right-wing extremism in Germany. A suspect who is believed to be a far-right sympathizer is currently in custody over the killing.

DW

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