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Africans in Germany: Violence in the social welfare office, Cameroonian refugee on trial for not accepting reduction in his money

Lazare M. is a 29 year-old Cameroonian refugee who has been charged with resisting police officers in the social welfare office of the Märkisch-Oderland district, kicked around and painfully hit a security guard in addition to officials for not accepting a reduction in his money.

The Cameroonian in Germany lives in an asylum home in Gusow-Platkow and is expected to stand in from of the Frankfurt (Oder) district court on Tuesday and the proceeding are to continue on March 16th.

Lazare M. suffered a severe stomach ache on the day before October 7th 2019 and hence could not come in and he does not possess an electronic health card. To add insult to injury, the asylum centre refused to call an ambulance.

When he felt better the next morning he went to Berlin to get help from his lawyer so that such a thing does not happen again but he was unavailable. Because of rail replacements traffic he missed getting to Diedersdorf within the welfare office open times.

Lazare went to the office again and announced why he was three days late to which he was paid his 310 euros which he is entitled to each month but was warned that the next time he should come to the offices with a note from his lawyer. He was still unavailable.

The refugee tried to get at least a certificate from his lawyer that he was not in his office on October 7th. But Lazare M. could not reach the lawyer until November 4th.

He came to the office the same day he was to see his layer and attain a note and was given his stipend without it being the full amount of money of 310 euros, instead he got 103 euros.

 “I was and still am dependent on this money,” says his statement read out in court.

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The social welfare office called the police. A policewoman persuaded Lazare M. to take the check for 103 euros and step back from the counter. One could discuss further outside. But Lazare M. was desperate and did not allow himself to be led out, finally clinging to the counter.

This led to the police to hit the Cameroonian on the head and punched him in the ribs making him lose his senses. An employee of the social welfare office is said to have stabbed the young man in the hand with a ballpoint pen so that he could no longer cling to the slit in the window in the counter.

Neues-deutschland reported that it remains questionable whether the brutal police violence was appropriate. It wasn’t inevitable. Because it has meanwhile been found in an objection procedure that the social welfare office should not have refused to pay out the 310 euros in this specific case.

Lazare M. has filed a complaint about it. The investigation into this matter is still ongoing. As a result, the policemen and the social welfare office worker concerned make use of their right to refuse to provide information in order not to incriminate themselves. So you will not testify in the trial against Lazare M.

Märkisch-Oderland does not transfer the social benefits, unlike many other districts, to an account of the refugees. You have to come to the authorities in Diedersdorf once a month on a fixed date. There they will receive a check and can have the money paid out at a counter at the Sparkasse in the same building. Even in the corona crisis, nothing has changed in this long-controversial practice.

Source: Neues-deutschland,