Human rights report reveals widespread violent attacks on Christian refugees in Germany

A report just released by the international religious freedom organisation Open Doors reveals a shocking level of attacks on Christian refugees while being housed in German refugee centres. Over the period covered by the research, up to September 2016, a total of 743 cases are documented of Christian refugees who have reported religiously motivated attacks. Continue reading

Freedom of speech is not freedom to insult

boehmermanninjailIf his real objective was merely to get worldwide media attention, Jan Böhmermann has done the right thing.

In Germany, as elsewhere, there is increasing criticism of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose style of governance is more and more perceived as dictatorial. (This perception is very different from what it used to be not long ago. Back in 2004 he even was awarded the title of “European of the Year” by the readership of European Voice, a liberal weekly that has since been absorbed by POLITICO.) But in Germany more than elsewhere this criticism of the Turkish president raises delicate diplomatic issues, given the great number of ethnic Turks living in the country and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s controversial policy to put the management of Europe’s immigration problem into the hands of the Turkish government. Continue reading

EU/Turkey: Not a very clever deal

davutoglu_merkel_0So it seems that the EU and Turkey have agreed that Turkey will take back persons that, coming from Turkey, have illegally entered the EU via the Aegean … in exchange for an equal amount of “legal” immigrants who will be selected in Turkish refugee camps.

In other words, the number of immigrants will not be reduced. Continue reading

Looming disaster

BELGIUM-GERMANY-TURKEY-EU-SUMMIT-MIGRANTS_145737254055953We might be witnessing the inglorious final days of Angela Merkel’s chancellorship.

Municipal elections in the region of Hessen are normally not an event that captures Europe-wide attention, but the outcome of last Sunday’s poll is indicative of a revolutionary mood that cannot be explained by the good or bad performance of the mayor or town council in this or that city. The tendency was uniform, and it was disastrous not only for the Christian Democrats and the Socialists who together form the Federal Government, but also for the Greens and the Left. The big winner is the Euro-sceptic and anti-immigration party “Alternative für Deutschland”. The message is clear: these elections were not on local issues, but on Angela Merkel’s  policy on immigration. Continue reading