Debate on security measures in Germany flared on New Year’s Day after hundreds of women were raped in Cologne. Now, the stoning of transgendered women, Yasmine and Elisa, in the Western German city of Dortmund is again opening the debate on the country’s open-door policy to migrants.
There are, however, some key differences between the Cologne NYE attack and this one; most notably that this was only against two people, but also that this did not appear to be carried out as part of a coordinated effort. A group of three North African men, whose immigration status has not been released, propositioned the transgender women and began to leave with them when the men had the realization that they were not cisgendered. Upon that discovery, their next move was bizarre.
Though the women left relatively unscathed compared to the women in the NYE attack in Cologne, the men then proceeded to carry out a unnerving attack against the trans women, choosing an archaic method to do so: death by stoning. Immediately the men began to pick up large stones from the ground and hurl them at the two women. Elisa described the disturbing altercation to German television station SATI.NRW, reported The Jerusalem Post.
“Within seconds we were tossed around, and it was only that I realized they were saying, ‘These sluts need to be stoned!’ …and they took stones from a gravel bed on the corner and threw them at us.”
Fortunately, the women targeted did not suffer the stoning, or the rape of the Cologne attack’s victims. A police officer was able to quickly spot the strange act taking place and rushed in to stop it. According to local authorities, all three of the men have been taken into custody and both of the transgender women involved in the attack are safe. The suspects also had previous records.
While that’s lucky for the women, it’s the attitude of those who initiated the assault that’s perhaps most chilling. The perpetrators seemed to possess a complete lack of any sense of penance over the incident. Spokesperson Kim-Ben Freigang said that the criminals coldly replied, “such persons must be stoned.” Like those raped in Cologne on New Year, Yasmine was traumatized over the episode.
“This is barbaric what they have done, they were barbarians… In 2016, you get stoned in Germany. This is the icing on the cake!”
The transgender stoning attempt is sure to rouse those who have been critical of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration policy following the Cologne attacks. After the New Year’s disaster, authorities received more than 500 complaints, around 40 percent of which related to some kind of forced sexual advances. Police primarily honed in on North African suspects in the case, reported BBC News. Even more disturbingly, similar confrontations took place all across Germany. Justice Minister Heiko Maas told Bild that he believed they had been priorly organized.
“If such a horde gathers in order to commit crimes, that appears in some form to be planned. Nobody can tell me that this was not co-ordinated or prepared.”
Response to the trans stoning may have authorities tense. After the Cologne attacks, widespread protests that had to broken up with water canons took place across the country. The anger that boiled over at the manifestations was linked to what some viewed as inadequate border security. In addition to violent crimes against immigrants spiking after New Year’s Eve, the country also saw another increase: pepper spray and non-lethal gun sales, reported NBC News.