Syrian charged in death of German man that sparked Chemnitz protests

Chemnitz, Germany (dpa) – A Syrian migrant has been charged with manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and serious bodily harm over the death of a man that sparked unrest in the eastern German city Chemnitz last year. Prosecutors said on Tuesday that the defendant, a Syrian asylum seeker named only as Alaa S in line with German privacy laws, is accused of fatally stabbing 35-year-old Daniel H on August 26 along with at least one other suspect, an Iraqi man named as Farhad A, who has not yet been apprehended. Police have issued an international search warrant for Farhad. The German man’s death sparked violent marches and counterdemonstrations in Chemnitz in August and September, and video footage of far-right rallies showed two Arab men being attacked by what appeared to be locals.

The clashes in the city fanned a wider political debate on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration policies and pushed her governing coalition into a crisis. Prosecutors said that during investigations, more than 100 witnesses were questioned. With the help of these witnesses, police were able to determine that the attack occurred after one of the migrants – the Iraqi who is still on the run – got in an argument with the victim. The Syrian man got involved later. Both men appear to have stabbed the victim in his arm and chest. They also stabbed another German man, who was severely injured but survived. Police were unable to find out what caused the argument. A third man, Yousif A from Iraq, could also be prosecuted at a later date. He was briefly held in custody, but was released in September as there was not enough evidence against him at the time. It is still not exactly clear how he was involved.

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