Germany to present report on far-right extremism in police. Photo: AFP

Germany will publish a much-anticipated report on right-wing extremism in its security forces on Tuesday, following a string of scandals over far-right networks in the police and military.

Iran PressEurope: Several regional German police forces have been caught up in far-right scandals in recent months, and a unit of the country's elite KSK commando force was dissolved in July over neo-Nazi allegations, AFP reported.

Conservative Interior Minister Horst Seehofer will on Tuesday reveal an estimate of the number of right-wing extremists in the police and other security services, including the BfV domestic intelligence agency.

Around 300,000 members of the security forces were asked to fill out anonymous questionnaires for the report in the hope of breaking what unions and experts have called a culture of silence.

According to initial figures unveiled in September by the daily Die Welt covering the period from January 2017 to March 2020, Germany's police and intelligence services could be harboring more than 350 suspected cases of extremism.

- 'Rigorous' approach -

The German government had previously refused to carry out a full investigation into extremism as it feared tarnishing the reputation of the police and intelligence services, instead favoring a case-by-case approach.

But in a change of stance last week, Seehofer said the government would take a "rigorous" approach and "not cover anything up".

Pressure has been mounting on the government for several months to address the issue of far-right networks in the police and military.

The Social Democrats, the junior partner in Angela Merkel's coalition government, have repeatedly demanded action and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called in September for a more resolute fight against right-wing extremism.

Germany has been hit by a string of far-right attacks over the last 18 months, leading to Seehofer naming far-right extremism the biggest security threat facing Germany.

But at the same time, evidence has mounted of far-right extremism within the police, security forces, and military.

Links between the far right and the police are highlighted in the make-up of the Bundestag lower house of parliament, where five of the far-right AfD party's 89 MPs are police officers -- the highest number of any party.

Hitler images

In Germany's most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, 30 police officers were suspended in September for spreading "repulsive" far-right propaganda in online chatrooms including swastikas, pictures of Adolf Hitler and a digitally altered image of a refugee in the gas chamber of a concentration camp.

A similar case was uncovered in Berlin in late September.


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