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Syrian refugee ends bid for parliamentary election after threats

Syrian refugee ends bid for parliamentary election after threats

Syrian refugee ends bid for parliamentary election after threats

Last month, a Syrian refugee by the name of Tareq Alaows announced his intention to run for parliament in Germany at the next federal election. However, he has now withdrawn his candidacy following online threats and racism.

Refugee runs for parliament

Alaows was born in Damascus and arrived in Europe six years ago, after fleeing from conscription in Syria. Back in February, the 31-year-old announced he would run as a Green Party candidate for Oberhausen, the city in which he lives, in North Rhine-Westphalia. Alaows had stated his decision was rooted in his desire to fight for the rights of refugees and to change how Germany deals with race.

Upon arriving in Germany, Alaows learned to speak German in six months and found employment as a social worker. He has also worked alongside various initiatives aimed at helping refugees in Germany.

Alaows withdraws his candidacy

On Tuesday, Alaows announced that he was withdrawing his bid for candidacy, stating that racism and personal threats had forced his hand. "The great public interest generated by my candidacy shows what we refugees can do. But unfortunately, our society lacks discrimination-free spaces in many areas of life. It's up to all of us to actively deal with that in our surroundings and to change things," he said

Alaows has been repeatedly attacked on social media, receiving numerous death threats from right-wing extremists and has been the target of “massive racism.” Alaows stated, “The serious threats against me, and more importantly against those around me, are the primary reason for withdrawing my candidacy." He has also withdrawn from his local Green Party branch in Oberhausen to protect his privacy.

William Nehra

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William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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