There is a surge in hate crimes in Germany targeting refugees. The “institutional racism” which is flourishing among police and other judicial authorities is the cause behind it, an Amnesty International report claimed.

The human rights watchdog has slammed Germany for failing to protect refugees and said that even before last year’s influx of more than 1 million refugees, authorities failed to investigate, prosecute and sentence people for racist crimes, as per Al Jazeera.

Marco Perolini, EU researcher for the human rights group, pointing to the hate crimes in Germany stated, With hate crimes on the rise in Germany, long-standing and well-documented shortcomings in the response of law enforcement agencies to racist violence must be addressed. [The issue] has taken on particular urgency in light of the rise in hate crimes linked to the large-scale arrival of asylum seekers during 2015.”

Perolini further said, “There are many factors that point to the existence of institutional racism with German law enforcement agencies. This question needs to be asked, and it needs to be answered: real improvement in how law enforcement agencies tackle racist crime cannot happen unless those very agencies are prepared to examine their own attitudes and assumptions.”

The report also talked about the discovery of a small neo-Nazi cell called the National Socialist Underground (NSU) that killed 9 refugees and a policewoman between 2000 and 2007, as per RT.

Amnesty found out that during the investigation police repeatedly failed to identify the leads indicating towards hate crimes in Germany and carried out the investigation by suspecting the relatives of the victims. As a result, NSU operated undetected for almost a decade.

One of the victim’s wife Yvonne Boulgarides complained, in all these years, they never treated us as victims, we were always treated as suspects by the police or politicians, as if we were hiding something. Nobody asked us about our opinions or listened to us.”

There was an internal investigation into the NSU case and Amnesty gave a number of recommendations and those were implemented by German law enforcement officers. However, the watchdog is not very hopeful as they think that the problem of “institutional racism” will not be very easily resolved.

Noteworthy, the attacks on refugees jumped to 1,031 in 2015 whereas,  it was only 199 in 2014. Although, initially the refugees were given a warm welcome the equation between the country’s people and refugees changed, as soon as, concerns over integration and security rose.

Heiko Maas, Germany’s justice minister affirmed that the country would carefully evaluate the report prepared by Amnesty International and take necessary actions.