The asylum-seeker was killed in Dresden, which is considered the heartland of Germany’s anti-Islamization movement, PEGIDA.
MOSCOW, January 15 (Moscow) – Dresden police are investigating the violent murder of an Eritrean refugee after initially denying that the injuries that led to his death were the result of an assault, the Guardian reports.
According to the New York Times, the 20-year-old’s body was discovered by residents of his apartment block with stab wounds to his chest and neck.
“Up to now there are no indications of foul play,” German police initially declared on Tuesday. However, following social media activity criticizing the statement as well as inquiries from a local newspaper and members of Germany’s Eritrean community, the police launched a murder investigation, according to The Guardian.
“Our determination is that we are dealing with a homicide here, but if the autopsy indicates that we are wrong, I would be glad too that we have to deal something other than a murder,” police chief Dieter Kroll told Deutsche Welle.
According to the Guardian, local Germans’ opinions of the murder were mixed, while some sympathized with the deceased, others expressed disdain for asylum-seekers living in Germany, believing them to be a drain on the country’s resources.
Dresden, where the refugee was murdered, has become known as the center of the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA) movement which has gained notoriety in the media for conducting anti-Islamization rallies in Dresden every Monday. This week’s demonstration reportedly attracted 25,000 people.
Khaled Idris Bahray, 20yo refugee, found dead in Dresden. His friends say he was murdered, police say “no evidence”. pic.twitter.com/l26pU9dyBM
— Emran Feroz (@Emran_Feroz) January 14, 2015
The German branch of PEGIDA was founded in Dresden in October 2014. Since then, it has attracted thousands of Germans, including far-right groups and those concerned with immigration. “We demand from OUR justice an exhaustive use of all legal means against self-proclaimed jihadists and hate preachers!,” the group’s Facebook page claims.
According to the group’s manifesto, it affirms the right of asylum for refugees, demands an increase in funding for police, opposes violent political ideologies, and calls for zero tolerance towards criminal immigrants, a decrease in the number of asylum seekers per social worker and the implementation of all asylum laws, among other things. According to Deutsche Welle, Islamism has been branded a misogynist and violent ideology by the group.
Many in Germany are against the group, with tens of thousands taking to Dresden streets last Saturday with calls for “open mindedness and humanity,” Deutsche Welle reported. The city mayor was present, reportedly stating that she was not against PEGIDA protesters, but did not fear people with different-colored skin, different customs or different ways.
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