As many as 7000 people are expected to participate in a pro-migrant demonstration in Cologne (North Rhine-Westphalia state) on Sunday, September 16. Demonstrators, denouncing racist and far-right anti-migrant activism and calling for the integration of migrants in European societies, are reportedly planning to gather for a rally on Roncalliplatz at 14:00 (local time) before proceeding to Heumarkt, where a related demonstration is slated to take place from around 15:00.
Similar demonstrations are possible in Cologne in the coming days. Far-right counterprotests are also possible in affected areas. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be anticipated near protest sites.
Multiple protests by far-right and civil society groups are reportedly slated to be held in Stuttgart (Baden-Wurttemberg state) and Chemnitz (Saxony state) on September 14, as well.
Immigration has been a polarizing issue in Germany in recent weeks, with multiple far-right protests and counterprotests being organized in the country over alleged incidents of violence involving migrants. Far-right and anti-fascist protesters demonstrated in Köthen (Saxony-Anhalt state) on the evening of September 9 after a German man died following an alleged street fight with Afghan migrants. The migrants were detained on suspicion of homicide after the brawl; however, a subsequent examination revealed that the German man died from a heart issue, unrelated to head injuries suffered during the fight. Similar far-right protests were held in Chemnitz in late August and early September after a German man was fatally stabbed on August 26 and two men of Iraqi and Syrian origin were subsequently arrested for his death.
Individuals in Cologne are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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