The head of Germany’s Police Union has slammed the creation of a special safe zone for women at a New Year’s Eve celebration at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, saying it implies that women celebrating outside the zone won’t be safe.
Rainer Wendt of the German Police Union (DPolG) told the Neuen Osnabrücker Zeitung, a German-language daily, that the planned ‘Women’s Safety Area’ sends a “devastating message” that women who venture outside the designated safe zone will be vulnerable to sexual assault. “It says that there are zones of security and zones of insecurity,” Wendt said, adding that the zone marks “the end of equal rights, freedom of movement and self-determination.”
The union chief added that the zone has a negative “political dimension” and would reignite fears of sexual attacks two years after hundreds of women reported being assaulted or robbed during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cologne.
Organizers of the event – Germany’s largest New Year’s Eve party, according to the Berliner Zeitung – say that Berlin police proposed the zone after a similar system was introduced in Munich during the city’s annual Oktoberfest. The safe zone will be located in a tent set up by the German Red Cross, where a number of specially-trained staffers will be on hand.
Frank Hansel, a member of German parliament from the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD), told RT that the planned safe zone will likely be ineffective and ignores the root of the problem. “It’s doubtful that this will really prevent attacks,” said Hansel. “You would need to make up special zones for everybody, but this is not tangible. So, I think the policy should change. We should not continue to have this illegal mass migration. We have to count and see who the people are who came to our country; we have to register them.”