The “Tagesspiegel” published figures for Berlin’s New Year’s Eve on January 8th. But when I asked, it turned out that they didn’t come from the Berlin police.
“New figures on Berlin New Year’s Eve riots: only 38 people arrested for firecracker attacks – mostly German”. This was the headline in the “Tagesspiegel” on January 8th about the latest findings on the attacks on police and rescue workers in Berlin on New Year’s Eve. The newspaper referred to a source within the Berlin police.
Many media picked up the numbers. But when asked by FOCUS online, the spokesman for the Berlin police, Martin Halweg, said: “The figures from the “Tagesspiegel” on attacks on police and rescue workers were not communicated or published by the Berlin police.”
What’s more: “At no time did we mention the nationalities for the separate arrests, let alone that two-thirds of the suspects were German or of other nationalities, because the figures were not even available at the time the article appeared.”
The number 37, which had been mentioned by the chief of police, was only provisional. The number 38 “we cannot confirm either, we have not communicated that. We don’t know where the “Tagesspiegel” got the information from,” adds Halweg.
However, the Berlin police announced that they would be able to present valid figures on the attacks on New Year’s Eve at the beginning of the third calendar week.
So far, the police have only officially announced the total number of arrests that night, but not all of them are related to attacks on police and rescue workers: 145 arrests were made.
The suspects come from very different countries – 18 nationalities were therefore included.
Specifically, of the 139 men and six women who were arrested, 45 have German citizenship, 27 are from Afghanistan, 21 from Syria, nine from Iraq, five from Lebanon, five from Poland, five from Turkey, and three from Turkey Iran, two from Serbia, two from Jordan and one each from France, Italy, Romania, Tunisia, Mali, India, Nigeria and Australia.
13 suspects have so-called unclear nationalities. This is the case, for example, with Palestinians, since there is no official state of Palestine, or when people give up their citizenship and declare themselves stateless.
The “Tagesspiegel” continued: “It is clear that numerous people who attacked the police and fire brigade have a migration background, according to consistent descriptions by the emergency services and documented by videos.”
But there were also many masked people in the mob, the article goes on to say. “Despite isolated indications, it is unclear to what extent the radical left-wing scene was actively involved.”
The Berliner Zeitung also refers to the number 38: So many arrests are said to be due to attacks on police and rescue workers. However, the number is only “of limited use”, only the age gives clues to possible backgrounds, the newspaper continues.
For example, minors were among them because of the use of alarm pistols with which they shot firecrackers at police officers. According to the “Tagesspiegel”, the information comes “from the Berlin police” without becoming more specific.
Halweg contradicts this: the nationalities of the suspects in the attacks on the police and rescue workers were never communicated, the police spokesman emphasizes. Exact figures could become public on January 15, he adds.
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