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Asylum seeker gets 8yrs+ for brutal murder of teen in Germany

Asylum seeker gets 8yrs+ for brutal murder of teen in Germany
A German court sentenced an asylum seeker to eight and a half years for the murder of a teen girl, stabbed in the heart with a kitchen knife in December. The case has fueled debate on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s asylum policy.

Abdul Dawodzai, a refugee reportedly from Afghanistan, murdered 15-year-old Mia Valentin last year on December 27, stabbing her with a kitchen knife in a pharmacy. The pair had been in a short relationship, and it is understood that in a fit of jealous rage, the refugee stabbed his ex-girlfriend seven times in the usually quiet southwest German town of Kandel.

Dawodzai had previously been reported to police for harassment prior to the murder. The boy was tried as a minor as it is believed that he was underage at the time of the crime, but his age has been difficult to ascertain.

The refugee, who entered Germany as an unaccompanied minor, says he was 15 at the time of the crime, but medical experts believe he may have been closer to 17. The maximum penalty for a minor charged with murder under German law is 10 years.

The case sparked months and months of anti-immigrant protests and counter-protests in the small German town. Kandel, with a population of around 9,000, has been inundated since the crime with protesters from both left and right-wing groups.

After Mia’s killing, some pointed the finger at German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government and her asylum seeker policy.

Residents, frustrated by the flood of protest groups, formed the ‘We are Kandel’ group, who accuse right-wing demonstrators of using Mia’s death to further their own cause and misrepresenting their town.

On the other side of the country, another stabbing galvanized anti-migrant protests. Last week, violence broke out in the eastern German city of Chemnitz after a German national was stabbed to death. A Syrian and an Iraqi man have been arrested in relation to the incident.

READ MORE: Berlin Christmas market attack 1 year on: Grieving victims’ families & survivors still await answers

Crimes involving refugees and asylum seekers have sparked national concern. After Germany opened its doors to more than a million migrants two years ago, attacks like the 2016 one at a Berlin Christmas market and the New Year’s Eve mass rape attacks in Cologne have fuelled insecurities.

Rejected asylum seeker Anis Amri triggered a Europe-wide manhunt when he deliberately drove a truck into the Christmas markets next to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin, killing 12 and injuring 56 others. In Cologne, groups of men, of Arab or North African appearance, went on a coordinated rape and sexual assault spree.

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