German TV apologizes over age error in refugee romance film

AP News
Posted: Jan 11, 2018 8:31 AM

BERLIN (AP) — A German TV station has apologized after revising the age of a Syrian refugee featured in a documentary about a teenage romance.

Children's channel Kika came under fire this week for initially claiming the protagonist's age was 17, then changing it to 19.

The move has fuelled public debate about how to ensure asylum-seekers claiming to be under 18 are actually minors, entitling them to additional support and protection.

Some politicians have called for age checks using X-ray or DNA tests, but experts question their precision.

Anti-migrant groups also accused Kika of failing to challenge the protagonist's conservative Muslim attitude toward his 16-year-old German girlfriend.

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Kika's sister channel HR, which produced the documentary, said Wednesday the couple were deeply shaken by the debate surrounding their relationship, but they remained together.