At the end of September 2017, Markus Hempel (30), a German, was beaten into a coma by a fist blow outside a shopping centre in Wittenberg and died from the severe injuries. The killer Sabri H., a “protection seeker” from Syria and according to his own statements only 17 years old at the time of the crime, was sentenced to a two-year suspended sentence at the end of March 2020, as the Magdeburg public prosecutor’s office only brought charges of “bodily harm resulting in death” and the judge passed the sentence “in the name of the people”.
While the father has to cope with and deal with the violent death of his son, the next slap in the face followed. At first, the Dessau public prosecutor’s office only spoke of a “self-defence situation” and wanted to cover up the case as much as possible, a new investigation then resulted in the charge of “bodily harm resulting in death” and the verdict of the juvenile criminal division of the Magdeburg Regional Court: two years on probation, the Syrian did not serve a single day in custody and can continue to live his life as if nothing had happened.
Karsten Hempel, as if his ordeal due to the death of his son was not bad enough, who only yearns for justice, was subjected to further degradation after the perpetrator’s conviction: the police pursued him for allegedly plotting revenge against the Syrian and, on top of that,he was given a caution by the police at his workplace. This procedure baffles and shows once again how Germans become second-class victims and bereaved families are harassed.
Hempel could not believe his ears and felt reminded of the most sinister conditions in the GDR. “I thought the era of Stasi methods had ended 30 years ago,” he told the officials. It was common practice in the East for the state to react to groundless denunciations by citizens and thus cause misfortune for innocent people. But in a democratic constitutional state? Hempel received no answer to the question of who the whistleblower was.
However, the 56-year-old had a suspicion. He assumed that the “tip” came from the social environment of the convicted violent offender Sabri H. – or even from the Syrian himself. It is true that after the criminal trial, Mr Hempel had tried to get in touch with Sabri H. in order to sue him under civil law.