Hate crimes rise in eastern Germany

Aug. 15, 2009 at 12:58 PM

DRESDEN, Germany, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Hate crimes are on the rise in the former East Germany, where incidents of right-wing extremism have been prominent this year, officials say.

In July, Marwa al-Sherbini, a pregnant Egyptian pharmacist living in Germany, was fatally stabbed in a Dresden courtroom by a man appealing a fine for having insulted Sherbini in a park. The man also critically injured Sherbini's husband, Elwi Okaz, a genetic scientist, The New York Times reported Saturday.

Dresden is the capital of Saxony, which has about 5 percent of Germany's population, but last year accounted for 12 percent of the violence classified as extremist, the Times reported.

In the eastern German state of Thuringia, Zeca Schall, a black Angola-born politician working for Germany's ruling Christian Democratic Union, has been the target of death threats.

In all of Germany, far-right crime rose 16 percent last year, with politically motivated violent acts, such as homicide, arson and assault accounting for 1,042 of the estimated 20,000 crimes recorded, an increase of 6.3 percent over 2007, federal authorities said.

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