Calls for Merkel to resign after suspect fled country
The arrest of an Iraqi immigrant in the murder of a 14-year-old Jewish girl in Germany has stoked criticism of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration policy, including a call from an opposition party for her to resign.
The Iraqi asylum seeker, Ali Bashar, had fled Germany with his family, due to a blunder by airport security officials, and was arrested by Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq at the request of German police, BBC News reported.
Bashar was wanted in the murder of 14-year old Suzanne Feldman of Mainz, Germany, the daughter of Jewish immigrants from Russia.
Feldman’s body, bearing the marks of strangulation and multiple rapes, was found June 6 in a wooded area next to the Wiesbaden-Frankfurt highway. She had gone out for the evening in mid-May with her friends to downtown Wiesbaden and reported missing when she didn’t return home that night.
Bashar and his family boarded a plane from Düsseldorf after the Iraqi embassy issued them new passports using a different family name. When authorities asked why they didn’t have a German entry stamp in their passports, they displayed their refugee papers with the old family name, reported the German newspaper Die Welt. Despite the fact that Bashar was sought by authorities, the officers simply compared the photos and let them board the flight.
Bashar, who arrived in Germany in 2015 with his parents and five siblings, had his asylum request refused the same year and was due to be deported, BBC News said. His case was under appeal, however, and he had obtained a temporary residence permit.
In addition to the murder of Feldman, Bashar was among several people suspected of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl at the refugee shelter. And he was connected to several violent incidents, including an alleged robbery, possession of a knife and fighting.
The leader of the Alternative for Germany party, a leading opponent of the new wave of immigration, called on Merkel to resign.
Bashar was among more than a million people from mostly Muslim countries that arrived in Germany in 2015.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said cases such as Bashar’s “seem to be adding up.”
In March, BBC News noted, an Afghan asylum seeker was sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape and murder of student Maria Ladenburger.
Last December, an Afghan migrant was arrested on suspicion of stabbing his 15-year-old ex-girlfriend to death.