Point of view: the crime of Frankfurt .. What role played by the country of origin of the offender? | Politics and Economy -

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A terrible event shook Germany. In Frankfurt, at one of the country's largest stations, an eight-year-old boy is pushed with his mother in front of a fast train. The child dies. While the mother can save herself. The perpetrator tries to escape, but is arrested with the help of witnesses and eventually arrested by the police.

A few hours later, a police spokeswoman explained that the man was 40 years old, according to information currently available, and that there was no personal relationship between him and his victims. And that the offender is from Eritrea.

Independent journalists are then assigned to cover the incident. It seems clearer, than it is. Information, published by the media, or even those that do not publish it, leaves its mark on the debate within society. For this reason, the German media institutions have committed themselves to ethical principles, which fall under the so-called "Charter of the Press""He said.

Legitimate interest

Within the meaning of this Charter, when the origin of the perpetrator is mentioned in the media coverage. In the case where the offender has a close connection to the crime or a legitimate interest of public opinion. "In addition, the identification of suspects or perpetrators should not lead to a racist generalization of individual misconduct on the rest Ethnic, religious or other minorities.

What role does a suspect play in Eritrea? Should the Deutsche Welle Foundation address the origin of the perpetrator?

Ines Pohl Kommentarbild App (- / P. Böll)

Inis Paul, editor of –

Since the summer of 2015, when Chancellor Merkel decided not to close the border and allow people who fled at the time, particularly from the civil war in Syria, to enter the country, Germany has changed. In concrete terms, because the talk here is about the reception of more than one million refugees, who must be cared for and cared for and helped them to integrate into society. But here also without a clear plan.

Germans, feeling insecure, feel intimidated and see any assault, crime or violation of the law by a refugee as proof that the constants of their country have been threatened by these "outsiders"He said.

On the other hand, there is a category of German society that seeks to calm things and demands better care for people suffering from psychological trauma as it tries to find ways to work together despite cultural differences and painful experiences.

Finally, there Political actors, who invest in a culture of fear and do not miss any chance of winning votes for their policy of exclusion.

When should the German media address the culprit's origin in their coverage? And when there is talk of a "legitimate interest" of public opinion.

Germany is in conflict with itself

Germany lives In conflicts with themselves. In terms of how to deal with the sense of insecurity within the community, and on the other hand to maintain prosperity. And another conflict over how and when to set clear limits to protect social gains, for example, the gain of gender equality over the past decades. It is our duty here as a media to communicate controversial voices, to try to explain the different motives of events and people, what drives people, what their fears are, what they are fighting for, how different political parties are trying to take advantage of all this.

The death of the eight-year-old boy will intensify debate within Germany. Some media will fuel racism because it attracts attention and increases sales. This is disrespectful and has nothing to do with the public interest stipulated in the Code of Honor of the press profession.

Yet there is this debate that can not be that Is understood only if we take into account that the offender comes from Eritrea, and therefore this information, ie belonging to the offender is part of the whole truth that we commit to. Sadness over the boy and shared feelings of grief over his loss with his parents and family is an essential part of this fact as well. Which in this case should move us more than anything else.

Paul Ines

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