BERLIN, June 15 (Xinhua) -- A record figure of 44,692 cases of politically motivated crimes were recorded in Germany last year, Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer announced on Tuesday when presenting the 2020 report on the protection of the constitution.
While crimes by left-wing extremists rose by three percent year-on-year to 6,632, those motivated by right-wing extremism were even up five percent at 22,357, according to the Ministry of the Interior (BMI).
"The threat situation has increased during the pandemic," Seehofer said, warning that the internet served as an "echo chamber for hate and agitation" in the radicalization and networking of right-wing extremists.
According to the BMI, propaganda crimes which include the spreading of illegal slogans, imagery or other material, decreased slightly but still accounted for the largest share of politically motivated crimes. Violent crimes increased significantly by 19 percent to 3,365 offenses.
Fueled by protests around the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people who categorically rejected the German government, the so-called Reich citizens or self-administrators, increased by five percent. Due to an affinity for weapons in this community, their disarmament remained a priority, the BMI noted.
"Extremists and terrorists are not going into lockdown," said Thomas Haldenwang, president of the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), stressing that the security situation remained "tense in almost all fields."