August 9, 2022

Arrest warrant leak fuels suspicions of far-right link to German police

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FILE – In this Aug. 27, 2018 file photo protesters gather for a far-right protest in front of a Karl Marx monument in Chemnitz, Germany. The large banner shows the bloodied faces of a dozen women above the words “we’re colorful until the blood flows.” The message to the boisterous crowd is clear: this is what migrants will do to you wives, sisters and daughters _ but the women pictured were actually victims of unrelated violent crimes in other countries. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, file)

From WN

The leak of an arrest warrant to far-right groups has heightened widespread suspicions of links between German police and xenophobic demonstrators, The Guardian reports.

Authorities have confirmed reports of the leak after the arrest warrant – containing the full name of the main suspect in the murder of a 35-year-old man, which triggered violent anti-foreigner protests in the eastern city of Chemnitz – was tweeted by Lutz Bachmann, the founding member of the far-right protest group Pegida. The suspect is a 22-year-old Iraqi man.

Police in Chemnitz are under fire for being inadequately prepared for far-right protests in the city on Sunday night, following the stabbing of Daniel H, whose surname has not been released in line with German practice.

The demonstration attracted around 6,000 people and 1,500 counter-protesters and quickly turned violent with far-right groups breaking off into smaller mobs and hunting foreigners through the city streets in riots that continued on Monday evening.

Some protesters shouted: “For every dead German, a dead foreigner,” in scenes reminiscent of Nazi-era pogroms.

A police spokeswoman confirmed the authenticity of the arrest warrant to German media. “The document is real,” she said. “We have already instigated a judicial inquiry … regarding the violation of official secrets.”

The photo of the arrest warrant was quickly circulated online, in particular via a WhatsApp group of the far-right movement Pro Chemnitz, which originally called the demonstration on Sunday.

Martin Dulig, the deputy premier of Saxony state, called the leak scandalous. “To hear that the arrest warrant was probably leaked by the police to rightwing extremist circles means that we have a huge problem to deal with. This is an egregious occurrence,” the SDP politician said.

The leak has fueled existing concerns about links between Saxony’s police force and the anti-immigrant party Alternative für Deutschland and the Pegida protest movement, which has led to an increasing use of the nickname “Pegizei” to describe the police – a portmanteau of polizei police and Pegida.

The police were accused last week of standing up for Pegida protesters after stopping a camera team from the state broadcaster ZDF from filming a demonstration in Dresden for 45 minutes after complaints by a protester, who it later emerged was a police employee.

They faced further accusations on Wednesday that they had lied over their claim to have underestimated the numbers who would attend the Chemnitz demonstration, after it emerged that Saxony’s office for protection of the constitution had warned them in advance that a large number of extremists from across Germany – including neo-Nazis, as well as football hooligans and martial artists with a known far-right background – were expected in the city, in the “low to medium four-figure realm.”, Jim Berrie

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