Germany investigates policeman accused of beating refugees

2015-05-18 14:14
(Odd Anderson, AFP)

(Odd Anderson, AFP)

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Berlin - German authorities are investigating allegations of assault by a police officer, a Hanover prosecutor has confirmed after a media report that a pair of refugees had been assaulted and hazed while they were in detention.

The officer boasted on social media that he terrified an Afghan and a Moroccan, both aged 19, inside a police station in two incidents six months apart, claiming they "squealed like pigs", the NDR television broadcaster reported.

A photo on the WhatsApp messaging service showed one of the incidents.

The prosecutor, Thomas Klinge, identified the officer as a member of a federal police force that patrols trains and railway stations.

Klinge said late on Sunday the office in question was additionally suspected of a breach of gun laws.

Klinge issued only sparse details, saying two witnesses had described brutality inside the police station at Hanover Railway Station.

"We still don't know exactly what happened," he said in Hanover. Alleged victims had not yet been identified. Investigating police searched both the police station and the officer's home. "We seized an illegal weapon at his home," said Klinge.

NDR claimed the suspect forced one youth, presumably a Muslim, to eat rotten pork off a floor. Other officers may have held a victim down.

In a first incident, in March 2014, the Afghan was taken to the police station for minor offences, such as not having his passport on him.

NDR said a WhatsApp message to other police stated: "Bashed him. An Afghan with an immigration ban. Stuck my fingers in his nose. And choked him. Funny. Dragged him by the leg shackles through the police station. Lovely. Squealed like a pig. A gift from Allah."

The broadcaster said the Moroccan was detained in September for travelling in a train without a ticket. Police found some marijuana is his sock. He was also placed in the police lock-up.

A camera-phone photo showed the man on the floor curled up on a tiled floor, handcuffed behind his back, his face in pain, seemingly confined by at least two officers during the abuse.

NDR quoted the covering message saying the officer's superior "said he could hear it from upstairs, that he squealed like a pig. Then the bastard ate some left-over spoiled pork from the fridge. Off the floor."

The Federal Police headquarters in Hanover declined comment because the matter was under judicial review, but said it was assisting the inquiry to the fullest. A spokesperson said the officer was off duty at the present time.

Klinge said it was still unclear if other officers were involved.

"It may be that several were, but we have to get more details from the witnesses," he said.

Read more on:    germany

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