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Investigations against “Last Generation”: Another accusation emerged

Investigations against “Last Generation”: Another accusation emerged
Climate activists of the “last generation”

The authority has initiated proceedings on suspicion of defamation against three activists in the group after a corresponding attack report was received at the beginning of April, spokeswoman Nina Bussek confirmed to the APA. The women had complained about their treatment in police custody. The new line of investigation is likely to be a response from the State Police Directorate (LPD) to the three women’s corresponding legal action against the incidents in the Vienna Police Detention Center (PAZ) on November 22, 2023. The police are said to have denied the now accused activists contact with their lawyer after a protest and not given them food for over ten hours. In January, the three women then turned to the State Administrative Court with a complaint about the measures, which the APA also has.

After being examined by the Investigation and Complaints Office for Allegations of Mistreatment (EBM) in the Federal Office for the Prevention and Fight against Corruption (BAK), that complaint also triggered criminal investigations against the officials involved on suspicion of abuse of office. However, the public prosecutor’s office discontinued the proceedings. The LPD then submitted a report to the prosecution on suspicion of defamation. The proceedings are only a side strand of the ongoing investigation into suspected criminal association, property damage and serious property damage against 38 suspects (as of March 2024). The complaint about the incidents in the police detention center will be heard at the Vienna Administrative Court on June 25th.

Police under criticism

The fact that the facts of the complaint are now the subject of the defamation proceedings against the three activists was confirmed by APA lawyer Clemens Lahner with reference to his inspection of the file. The lawyer criticized the police in this context. It is “everyone’s right” to complain about an official police act. “Because of the legal costs alone, you will think twice beforehand about whether you can prove the allegations,” said Lahner, who represents the activists. “The fact that the LPD Vienna is now shouting ‘slander’ loudly in response to our complaint about the length of detention and prison conditions instead of properly investigating the matter says a lot about the underdeveloped error culture within the police.”

The “Last Generation” also took the events as an opportunity for criticism. It was said that the authorities would try to “silence” the activists with criminal charges. “And all of this is because we are committed to the right to survival,” explained press spokeswoman Marina Hagen-Canaval, herself a defendant in the defamation case, to the APA. “Instead of losing themselves in hopeless, legal threats against us, the police should stand up with us for effective climate protection,” said Hagen-Canaval.

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