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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

Germany to introduce sexual education classes for refugees

The move comes on the heels of gang rape allegedly committed by asylum seekers in the city of Freibourg

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) sits next to German State Secretary for Migration, Refugees and Integration Annette Widmann-Mauz (L) during an award ceremony for the National Integration Prize at the chancellery in Berlin. EPA
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) sits next to German State Secretary for Migration, Refugees and Integration Annette Widmann-Mauz (L) during an award ceremony for the National Integration Prize at the chancellery in Berlin. EPA

Germany’s ministry for Migration, Refugees and Integration announced it will introduce sexual education classes for refugees following street protests over a gang rape allegedly committed by Syrian asylum seekers in the city of Freiburg, local media reported.

Annette Widmann-Mauz, the Federal Integration Commissioner and a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic party (CDU), called for asylum seekers to be informed about sexual ethics and equality rights in Germany. "All asylum seekers must – immediately after their arrival in Germany, still in the initial reception centre – receive guidance on living together in Germany and this includes zero tolerance for sexual abuse and other acts of violence," the commissioner told the media group RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland.

In addition, Widmann-Mauz said she will refuse to meet associations that include no women.

Up to 500 protesters took to the streets of Freiburg on Monday to demonstrate against the gang rape of an 18-year-old student allegedly committed by eight men. Seven of the suspects are Syrian men aged 19 to 29 while one is a native German aged 25.

The demonstration organised by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) sparked the reaction of about 1,500 counterprotesters, some of whom accused the party of exploiting the crime to incite anti-migrant sentiment.

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Tensions have been running high in Germany following the murder of a German man allegedly committed by a Syrian and Iraqi refugees in August triggered riots in the city of Chemnitz. In March, an Afghan asylum seeker was handed a life sentence for the murder of a medical student in Freiburg.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, who recently announced she will step down from her position as leader of the CDU in 2021, has been criticised for welcoming refugees fleeing war torn countries at the apex of the crisis in 2015.

This summer the migration issue opened a rift between Mrs Merkel and her interior minister, Horst Seehofer, that threatened to undermine the government’s coalition.