Tag Archives: Human Rights / Civil Rights

Hate crimes against LGBT + people in Germany increased by 36% in 2020 | Instant News


BERLIN (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Hate crimes against LGBT + people increased 36% in Germany in 2020, highlighting an increase in homophobic attacks and politically motivated violence in the country in recent years, the government and campaigners said on Tuesday.

A total of 782 crimes targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were reported last year, about 150 of them involving violence, police data show.

“Hate crimes against queer people have increased in the last three or four years,” said Markus Ulrich, a spokesman for the LSVD of Germany’s largest LGBT group.

“There is a trend,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, adding that the increase may also partly reflect a greater willingness among LGBT people to go to the police to report crimes against them.

The figures released on LGBT + hate crimes do not include last year’s murder of a gay man in Dresden and another in Altenburg because they were classified as homicide and not hate crime.

A Syrian man has been charged with murder in Dresden and two right-wing supporters accused of murder in Altenburg.

Data released by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) also showed an 8.54% increase in politically motivated crimes, with crimes involving violence increasing by 18.8% compared to 2019.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said in a statement the increases were “worrying as they consolidate the trend of recent years”.

More than half of politically motivated actors are supporters of the right. Anti-Semitic and xenophobic hate crimes increased by 15.7% and 19.1%, respectively.

A 2020 survey by the US-based think tank Pew Research Center found that 86% of Germans think homosexuality should be accepted, and Ulrich says attitudes are changing.

“Freaks feel safer to report this incident to the police, which may not have been the same in the past,” he said.

“In recent years, the German police have improved the way they register this crime and they are more likely to brand it specifically as hate crimes against LGBT + people,” he said.

However, 13% of LGBT + Germans say they have been victims of violent attacks on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, an EU survey showed last year.

Reporting by Enrique Anarte @enriqueanarte; Edited by Helen Popper and Hugo Greenhalgh. Please acknowledge the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the Thomson Reuters charity, covering the lives of people around the world who struggle to live free or fair. Visit news.trust.org

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Future aid for Kabul will be linked to democratic standards, said Germany | Instant News


FILE PHOTO: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas arrives for the German government’s weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellor in Berlin, Germany, 27 April 2021. Markus Schreiber / Pool via REUTERS

BERLIN (Reuters) – Any future financial assistance to Afghanistan will depend on the democratic standards that are enforced there, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said during a visit to Kabul on Thursday, when NATO forces will launch their withdrawal from the country.

“The Taliban also knows that this country, which has suffered terribly in war over the last few decades, is very dependent on international aid financially,” said Maas.

“This international assistance will certainly not flow if the Taliban revoke all the rights and democratic standards that have been set in this country,” he added.

Maas was referring to the hardline Islamist Taliban’s desire to be part of a future government in Kabul.

The Taliban severely restricted women’s and other human rights during their rule in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, when they were overthrown by US-led forces. Since then they have launched a long-running insurgency and now control much of the territory.

US President Joe Biden and NATO announced in mid-April that they would withdraw about 10,000 foreign troops still in Afghanistan by September 11. Germany has the second largest military contingent with around 1,100 troops.

The withdrawal of foreign troops is scheduled to begin on May 1.

Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Edited by Toby Chopra

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Hungary questions Germany’s democratic standards on LGBT lines | Instant News


BUDAPEST / BERLIN (Reuters) – An assistant to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban questioned Germany’s democratic standards on Thursday after a top German football club fired a Hungarian coach for expressing anti-immigrant and anti-LGBT views.

The Foreign Ministry said it had summoned Germany’s business attorney to express surprise at Hertha Berlin’s sacking of goalkeeping coach Zsolt Petry by Hertha Berlin on Tuesday.

“Expressing your opinion is not punishable under the rule of law,” Orban chief of staff Gergely Gulyas told reporters, noting that Petry’s dismissal reminded him of Nazi Germany’s “totalitarian regime”.

“I think this is outrageous, Germany, above all, has to answer whether it still upholds the rule of law,” he said.

A German foreign ministry spokesman said the Hungarian government’s comments were “completely incomprehensible to us”.

“The attorney for business communicates this to the Hungarian government in his conversation (at the ministry). We reject references to National Socialism in the most obvious terms, “the spokesperson said.

Hertha said on Tuesday that although they were satisfied with the former Hungary international’s work, comments he made criticizing LGBTQ people and immigrants ran counter to the club’s position on tolerance and diversity.

Hertha spokesman Marcus Jung said on Thursday that Gulyas’ equal footing with Nazi Germany was a “strange comparison” and that the club “actively promotes social diversity, equality and tolerance”.

Many EU member states, including Germany, have expressed concern about what they see as an anti-democracy movement in Hungary under Orban. Its right-wing government denies any such criticism.

The government has been anti-immigration, has excluded same-sex marriage from Hungary’s constitution, limited gay adoption and legal recognition of transgender people, and has often portrayed homosexuality as an aberration.

Petry was fired by Hertha for questioning what made Red Bull Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi “defend” lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

In an interview with Hungary’s pro-Orban newspaper, Magyar Nemzet, he also criticized European immigration policies, saying “criminals have flooded into Europe”.

Gulacsi had protested the Hungarian government’s anti-LGBT policies in a Facebook post.

“Everyone has the right to equal treatment,” Gulacsi wrote. “I support the rainbow family. Let’s speak up against hatred, let’s be more accepting and open. “

Additional reporting by Anita Komuves in Budapest, Editing by Mark Heinrich, Timothy Heritage, and Giles Elgood

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Hungary questions Germany’s rule of law commitment on LGBT lines | Instant News


* The German football club has sacked the Hungarian coach for anti-LGBT comments

* Hungary: Punishing opinion reminds us of the ‘totalitarian’ Germany

* Germany has criticized the anti-democracy movement in Hungary

BUDAPEST / BERLIN, April 8 (Reuters) – A top aide to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban questioned Germany’s democratic standards on Thursday after a German football club fired a Hungarian coach for expressing anti-immigrant and anti-LGBT views.

“Expressing your opinion is not punishable under the rule of law,” Orban chief of staff Gergely Gulyas told a news conference. “I think this is outrageous, Germany, above all, must answer whether it still upholds the rule of law.”

He spoke against the backdrop of tensions between the nationalist Orban and members of the western European Union including Germany over what they see as an anti-democracy movement in Hungary under his rule, an accusation his government denies.

The Hungarian Foreign Ministry said it had summoned Germany’s business attorney to express “shock” at the sacking of Bundesliga football club Hertha BSC Berlin goalkeeping coach, Zsolt Petry, a Hungarian, on Tuesday.

Gulyas said Petry’s dismissal reminded him of Nazi Germany. “One totalitarian regime started in Germany in the 20th century. We don’t want to see anything else on the 21st, “Gulyas said in a statement.

The German government did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment.

Orban’s right-wing government has been anti-immigration, has excluded same-sex marriage from Hungary’s constitution, limited gay adoption and legal recognition of transgender people, and has often portrayed homosexuality as an aberration.

Gulyas also said the German parliament had passed a law allowing same-sex marriage despite the Constitutional Court’s conflicting opinions, calling the move “highly unusual in a country that respects the rule of law”.

While German court jurisprudence once ruled out same-sex marriage, analysts say it has stepped down from that position in a series of rulings since 2009. No constitutional challenge has ever been raised against the 2017 parliamentary vote approving same-sex marriage.

Hungary and its populist nationalist ally Poland have been criticized for years for an alleged retreat from the EU’s democratic standards, in part by asserting control over the media, courts and academics, and campaigning against gay rights.

Petry was sacked by Hertha on Tuesday after he criticized Peter Gulacsi, the star goalkeeper for Bundesliga rivals Red Bull Leipzig, in a statement published by pro-Orban daily Magyar Nemzet.

“I don’t know what made Peter defend the people (LBGT),” Petry told the Budapest newspaper. “If I were him, I definitely wouldn’t have aroused such emotions.”

He also criticized European immigration policies, saying “criminals have flooded into Europe”.

Gulacsi protested Petry’s comments on a Facebook post. “Everyone has the right to equal treatment,” Gulacsi wrote. “I support the rainbow family. Let’s speak up against hatred, let’s be more accepting and open. “

Hertha BSC CEO Carsten Schmidt said Petry had been fired after a six-year term because his statements did not “fit the values” of the football club.

Hertha did not immediately comment on Gulyas’ remarks. (Additional reporting by Anita Komuves in Budapest Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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UPDATE 2-Hungary questions Germany’s democratic standards in LGBT lines | Instant News


* The German club has sacked the Hungarian coach for anti-LGBT comments

* Aide to Hungarian PM questions Germany’s democratic standards

* Germany has criticized the anti-democracy movement in Hungary (Adding German reaction)

BUDAPEST / BERLIN, April 8 (Reuters) – An assistant to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban questioned Germany’s democratic standards on Thursday after a top German football club fired a Hungarian coach for expressing anti-immigrant and anti-LGBT views.

The Foreign Ministry said it had summoned Germany’s business attorney to express surprise at Hertha Berlin’s sacking of goalkeeping coach Zsolt Petry by Hertha Berlin on Tuesday.

“Expressing your opinion is not punishable under the rule of law,” Orban chief of staff Gergely Gulyas told reporters, noting that Petry’s dismissal reminded him of Nazi Germany’s “totalitarian regime”.

“I think this is outrageous, Germany, above all, has to answer whether it still upholds the rule of law,” he said.

A German foreign ministry spokesman said the Hungarian government’s comments were “completely incomprehensible to us”.

“The attorney for business communicates this to the Hungarian government in his conversation (at the ministry). We reject references to National Socialism in the most obvious terms, “the spokesperson said.

Hertha said on Tuesday that although they were satisfied with the former Hungary international’s work, comments he made criticizing LGBTQ people and immigrants ran counter to the club’s position on tolerance and diversity.

Hertha spokesman Marcus Jung said on Thursday that Gulyas’ equal footing with Nazi Germany was a “strange comparison” and that the club “actively promotes social diversity, equality and tolerance”.

Many EU member states, including Germany, have expressed concern about what they see as an anti-democracy movement in Hungary under Orban. Its right-wing government denies any such criticism.

The government has been anti-immigration, has excluded same-sex marriage from Hungary’s constitution, limited gay adoption and legal recognition of transgender people, and has often portrayed homosexuality as an aberration.

Petry was fired by Hertha for questioning what made Red Bull Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi “defend” lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

In an interview with Hungary’s pro-Orban newspaper, Magyar Nemzet, he also criticized European immigration policies, saying “criminals have flooded into Europe”.

Gulacsi had protested the Hungarian government’s anti-LGBT policies in a Facebook post.

“Everyone has the right to equal treatment,” Gulacsi wrote. “I support the rainbow family. Let’s speak up against hatred, let’s be more accepting and open. (Additional reporting by Anita Komuves in Budapest, Edited by Mark Heinrich, Timothy Heritage, and Giles Elgood)

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