The constituency office of SPD member of the Bundestag Karamba Diaby in Halle has again become the target of an attack: on Wednesday evening a door of the office was on fire, as the police announced on Thursday. Diaby said it was the door to his citizen's office. The police suspect arson, and one suspect has been arrested. The man has been in custody since Thursday afternoon.
Accordingly, witnesses noticed flames on the building late Wednesday evening and alerted the emergency services. They also observed a suspicious man in front of the house and held him until the police arrived. According to the investigators, the fire was quickly extinguished thanks to the rapid intervention of the fire brigade. The damage was manageable, it said. A police spokeswoman did not give an exact amount of damage.
Diaby considers the act to be racially motivated. "We've known the man for over a year," he said when asked. The man often uttered racist insults at him and also left letters with racist remarks in the mailbox.
The police confirmed that the man was known to the officers and that he had had mental problems in the past. The spokeswoman was not more specific. Diaby was "upset and outraged" about the act – also because the 55-year-old was known to the police. "I have filed criminal charges against him several times for numerous crimes. I expect that the investigations will quickly and consistently lead to reliable results," he said.
The case brings back memories of a similar attack on Diaby's citizens' office in 2020. At that time, bullet holes were found in the office's window. The case drew national attention. To date, no suspect has been identified. In 2015, the shop window of the parliamentarian who was born in Senegal was smashed in the citizens' office.
Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) said about the attack on Thursday: "I'm glad that the suspect could be caught quickly thanks to courageous passers-by." Anyone who attacks MPs is also attacking democracy.
Saxony-Anhalt's Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff sharply condemned the latest alleged attack on Thursday. "Attacks on the offices of politicians and democratic institutions are intended to unsettle those responsible and the population," said the CDU politician on Thursday. The connections should be clarified quickly and the perpetrators should be held accountable. His respect goes to the "courageous passers-by who were able to confront the alleged perpetrator".
The SPD leader in the federal government, Saskia Esken, was appalled. "Again and again Karamba Diaby is exposed to massive threats, allegedly from the right-wing extremist scene," said Esken on Thursday, according to the statement. At the same time, this is an "attack on local democracy that requires a sharp condemnation of all democrats."