Are crimes committed by asylum seekers being hushed up?
Following the New Year's Eve attacks in Cologne allegations have been made that the authorities deliberately tried to hush up the fact that the perpetrators were refugees. Reports of similar incidents are now coming to light in other countries. Is this the beginning of a culture of silence?
German elite doesn't trust the people
The reactions of German politicians and media to the assaults on women on New Year's Eve in Cologne make it clear that Germany's leaders still have qualms about confronting the German people with the truth, the conservative paper The Daily Telegraph contends, also with reference to current controversy over the new edition of Hitler's Mein Kampf:
“It is as if Germany's rulers do not trust their own people with the ability to handle uncomfortable truths. Whether those truths are the poisonous doctrines that once entranced the nation and led to the Holocaust and the devastation of Europe in the Second World War, or the more immediately dismaying reality that parts of German cities are no longer safe for German women to walk in because of their own government's policies, the instinct to suppress the truth remains the same. It is a profoundly unhealthy trait.”
Don't play down sexual attacks
Women were also sexually harassed in Finland on New Year's Eve. Such incidents must not be trivialised, the liberal daily Kaleva warns:
“We must not forget that sexual harassment of women in Germany and elsewhere is not a new phenomenon. ... And we must not forget that only a small number of the immigrants in Germany or Finland are accused of harassment or other sexual crimes. Nevertheless we must not play down the problem. Asylum seekers in Finland will no doubt have noted what Finnish laws, norms and traditions have to say about the position of women in our society. We must expect newcomers who want to remain in Finland to act in accordance with that information. Those who have committed crimes must not be able to defend themselves by saying they didn't know that what they did was forbidden.”