New Year's Eve Assaults Spark Anti-Immigrant Protests in Germany
German riot police broke up far-right protesters in Cologne on Saturday as they marched against Germany's open-door migration policy after dozens of asylum seekers were arrested for mass assaults on women on New Year's Eve. The attacks, ranging from sexual molestation to theft, shocked Germany, which took in 1.1 million migrants and refugees in 2015 under asylum laws championed by Chancellor Angela Merkel, despite fervent opposition.
Police said around 1,700 people attended the rally organized by the far-right anti-Islam PEGIDA movement, which has seized on the alleged involvement of migrants in the Cologne attacks as proof Merkel's policy is flawed.
Germany took in approximately 1.1 million migrants and refugees in 2015.