For thousands of refugees who’ve sought asylum in Germany, the nightmare doesn’t end once they’ve escaped tyranny in their native countries.
According to a new report released by Germany’s Interior Ministry, there were more than 3,500 attacks on refugees, buildings that shelter them and refugee volunteers and organizations in 2016, amounting to about 10 attacks a day, German outlets reported.
Of those attacks, 2,455 targeted individuals, 988 targeted shelters and 217 targeted organizations and volunteers. The incidents resulted in 560 injured refugees, 43 of whom were children.
“Attacks on people who seek protection with us and attacks on aid workers are attacks on all of us, on our open and free society,” German Interior Minister Heiko Maas tweeted in German on Sunday, listing some of the figures.
More than half of the world’s refugees hail from Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia, in that order, according to United Nations statistics.
While the number of attacks in Germany is high, that may also be related to the amount of refugees the country has accepted in recent years. In 2015, Germany was the largest single recipient of new asylum applications in the world, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees’ most recent report. The 441,900 asylum applications Germany received that year doubled figures from the previous year and marked the eighth consecutive increase. However, the country has since tightened its refugee policy, saying it will send some back to Greece.
Still, there are indicators that attacks in Germany may be on the rise. An Amnesty International report released last year tallied around 2,100 attacks on refugees and their shelters in 2015, marking a sharp increase from just two years prior. Attacks on shelters, for example, were 16 times more common in 2015 than they were in 2013.
The problem is partly due to police not carrying out “effective, prompt, adequate and thorough investigations into allegations of racist violence” and “the complexities of the German system for classifying hate crimes,” Amnesty International found.
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