German paper apologizes for false story on migrant attacks

AP News
Posted: Feb 15, 2017 12:43 PM

BERLIN (AP) — German daily paper Bild apologized to its readers Tuesday for falsely reporting about a group of migrants allegedly assaulting women on New Year's Eve in the city of Frankfurt.

The paper wrote in a statement it regrets a report published earlier this month which quoted a waitress, a restaurant owner and his staff saying they witnessed "massive attacks by a mob of drunken foreigners" in downtown Frankfurt.

"Bild explicitly apologizes for the untruthful reporting," the paper said. "This kind of reporting is not up to our own journalistic standards."

Bild said neither police reports of that night nor an investigation following the paper's report could confirm any of the allegations.

Prosecutors have opened an investigation into the witnesses' claims and authorities searched the apartment of the 27-year-old waitress. Her name was not published in line with German privacy rules.

The report came a year after New Year's Eve 2015, when hundreds of women reported being sexually attacked by migrants in the western city of Cologne, sparking a huge backlash against the 890,000 asylum seekers who arrived in Germany that year.