Swastika daubed on refugee accommodation in
Swastika daubed on refugee accommodation near Nuremberg, GermanyGetty Images

Europe's top human rights watchdog expressed concern about rising racism in Germany. The report by the Council of Europe cited recent anti-immigrant demonstrations by far-right group Pegida and attacks on refugees in the country.

"There have been worrying developments as regards public manifestations of racism and xenophobia," the Council of Europe's committee on national minorities said in a statement.

"Manifestations of anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiments are...reported to be rising, as well as attacks against asylum seekers," the report said.

The reports refers to marches organised earlier this year by the Pegida far-right group, which drew up to 25,000 people in Dresden. It notes that though there have been sizeable anti-racism counter demonstrations and condemnations of Pegida from the German government, "sustained efforts are still needed to foster a climate of tolerance and intercultural dialogue."

The picture painted by the report is at odds with the image of Germany communicated by the country's acceptance of tens of thousands of refugees and migrants, with many Germans warmly welcoming them to the country.

The Council of Europe report, based on data between 2010 and 2015, acknowledged "continued efforts... to promote tolerance, combat racism and prevent right-wing extremism in German society." However, it calls for police to stop the practice of racial profiling and build trust with minority communities.

It describes the German government's failure to tackle anti-Sinti and Roma racism.