The refugee abuse scandal sent shock waves through Germany when it became public nearly four years ago. Now, 30 guards and workers at the asylum center face a host of charges.
The trial of 30 people accused of abusing refugees at an asylum center in Germany started on Thursday in the western town of Siegen.
It has been nearly four years since shocking images of abuse against refugees in the small western town of Burbach triggered widespread outrage.
The abuse was captured on cellphone photos. One of the Burbach photos showed a security guard posing with his foot on the neck of a handcuffed refugee lying on the floor, while another showed a refugee being forced to lie on a mattress stained with vomit.
Security guards also took the refugees to a “problem room” where they were allegedly imprisoned, beaten and robbed. At the time the photos became public, Police Chief Frank Richter from nearby Hagen said: “These are images of the kind we’ve seen from Guantanamo Bay.”
The 30 guards and workers at the asylum facility face charges that include grievous bodily harm, deprivation of liberty, coercion and theft.
Following the scandal, operations at the refugee center were transferred from the social services company European Homecare to the German Red Cross.