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    Refugees wait for a special train at the train station in Freilassing, near the Austrian-German border, southern Germany, on September 15, 2015

    Thousands of Cases of War Criminals Seeking Asylum Not Probed in Germany – Media

    © AFP 2019 / CHRISTOF STACHE
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    About 900,000 migrants arrived in Germany between 2015 and 2016, most of them from war-torn countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan; since then, however, their number has shrunk significantly.

    At the height of the migration crisis, German authorities failed to investigate thousands of pieces of evidence suggesting that war criminals were seeking asylum in the country, Bild reports.

    The newspaper cited a parliamentary probe by Germany’s Free Democratic Party (FDP) as saying that although the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees submitted about 5,000 cases of "crimes under international law" to the Federal Criminal Police Office and the Attorney General between 2014 and the beginning of 2019, only 129 such crimes were investigated.

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    In particular, almost 3,800 referrals were made between 2015 and 2016, but just 28 were further probed.

    Speaking to Bild earlier this week, a German Interior Ministry spokesperson said that the “large number of referrals prevented immediate investigation of each case”.

    The FDP’s Linda Teuteberg, a member of the parliamentary committee for internal affairs, for her part warned against war criminals being afforded protection in Germany.

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    “I have doubts as to whether the federal government has always pursued this in the past few years with due seriousness”, Teuteberg pointed out.

    Germany became one of the countries most affected by the migration crisis in Europe, which broke out in 2015 with a huge influx of people fleeing armed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa.

    In line with Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door policy, nearly 900,000 migrants were allowed to enter the country between 2015 and 2016, a number that has substantially shrunk since then and was far below the 220,000 projected in 2018.

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    Tags:
    investigation, crimes, international law, asylum, war criminals, Free Democratic Party (FDP), Germany
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