Wednesday 19, April
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Woman found dead in Friedrichshain brothel, homicide suspected
On Monday evening, a woman was found dead in a brothel on Weserstrasse in Friedrichshain. Police investigators suspect homicide, though information the autopsy has not yet been released.
The body was allegedly found on the ground floor of the brothel building and there are signs of physical violence.
The landlord of the apartment and an acquaintance found the woman’s body on entering the apartment and then alerted the police. The body was allegedly found on the ground floor of the brothel building and there are signs of physical violence. The woman was of Asian descent, but her age – and whether she worked there as a sex worker – has not yet been disclosed.
It has been more than 20 years since the legalisation of sex work in the Germany, but the industry remains elusive. In 2017, the controversial Prostituiertenschutzgesetz, or “Prostitutes Protection Act” was introduced, requiring all people who engage in sex work to register their profession.
They must provide a registered address, places of work and undergo a yearly mandatory health screening. All brothels are also required to be registered and are forbidden from employing unregistered sex workers. The law also requires all registered sex workers to carry a special ID card that has sometimes been dubbed the “Whore Pass”.
While intended to protect sex workers’ rights, the benefit of these bureaucratic steps remain controversial. In 2020, 25,000 sex workers were registered in Germany; the real number is estimated at 400,000. Many more vulnerable foreign sex workers often can’t even get an Anmeldung, which is required to register their work in the first place.