More than 100 refugee and migrant groups from around Europe have strongly condemned violence against women following reports of attacks on women in Cologne recently.
They condemned the violence against women whether the perpetrators are “nationals or foreigners”.
“We, refugee and migrant communities settled in different EU countries, from different nationalities and backgrounds, strongly condemn the recent sexual attacks against women in Germany. We would like to express our sorrow and sympathy to the victims of these terrible attacks,” the groups said in a joint statement.
“We condemn any violence against women, be they nationals or foreigners, perpetrated by foreigners or nationals. Perpetrators should be prosecuted and convicted. It is crucial now to clarify and understand what happened so that people, in particular women, feel safe again, justice can be done, and further violence prevented. We did not flee violence there to accept it here,” the refugee and migrant groups said.
What happened in Germany, they said, “will deeply affect the reality for those societies who welcomed us and for the thousands of innocent people seeking refuge.”
The refugee and migrant groups appealed to Europeans not to generalize based on the shocking events in Germany. “The perpetrators, be they asylum seekers or not, are not representative of the majority of people living and seeking refuge in the European Union,” they said.
They appealed to European authorities to avoid generalizations that could polarize society. “We ask them not to use these events to close their borders or to introduce restrictive policies that will not provide real solutions to the problems faced, but will only expose refugees and migrants to even more danger,” they said.