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German police debate identifying suspects by ethnicity
by Carla Bleiker
German police and press are struggling with the question of when to make a suspect's nationality public. No one wants to offer fodder to right-wing groups, but some say more openness is imperative.
Ever since Cologne police initially held back information that many of the men suspected of attacking women on New Year's Eve were believed to be migrants from North Africa, the debate of whether or not to make criminal suspects' nationality public has been heating up in Germany.
"It's practiced information policy to give concrete information on victims, witnesses and suspects only in so far as it's necessary for the investigation," Rafael Behr, a former officer and professor for police science at the Hamburg Police Academy, said.
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