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Friday 1, December

Violent brawls break out at Tegel refugee arrival centre

Investigations are ongoing into whether the dispute at Tegel refugee arrival centre was politically motivated.

Photo: IMAGO / Emmanuele Contini

Friday 1, December

Violent brawls break out at Tegel arrival centre

At the start of the week, there were violent clashes at the refugee arrival centre located on the groups of the former Tegel airport. Footage of fights between different refugee groups was quickly shared on social media, with as many as 100 people involved in the dispute.

There are suggestions that the fight was politically motivated, with refugees of Kurdish and Arab origin at odds with each other. Some reports claim that some individuals were playing videos from Islamic State, or shouting aggressive slogans like “infidel Kurds”. During the war in Syria, Kurdish groups were crucial in the attacks against Islamic State.

Ferat Koçak (Die LINKE), spokesman for his party’s refugee policy in the House of Representatives, released a statement on the matter asking for a speedy investigation to determine the political motivations at play, but also pointed out that the Tegel arrival centre has been at full capacity for many months, and that such conflicts are quick to arise when people are penned in together.

“Permanent accommodation in containers is not humane,” he wrote. “We finally need decentralised housing options for refugees, there is enough vacancy!” Furthermore, he suggested that an investigation should be carried out into the role of security. Back in September, 130 female Ukrainian refugees at the same location wrote a letter complaining of inhumane treatment and physical violence from security staff.