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Extremism: Hunting political opponents – men in court in Chemnitz

Extremism: Hunting political opponents – men in court in Chemnitz

After a right-wing “funeral march” in Chemnitz in 2018, participants are said to have hunted down counter-demonstrators. Now four of the suspected attackers are being tried.

It’s been more than five years since the brutal hunt for participants in a “Heart instead of agitation” demonstration in Chemnitz, and several suspected attackers have been on trial since Monday. But the start was halting. Of the original nine defendants, six remained – and two of them did not appear at the hearing. Their cases were separated, so that four men are now being tried. At the start of the trial they remained silent about the allegations.

According to the prosecution, the whole thing goes back to late summer 2018. After the violent death of a German in a dispute with asylum seekers, there were demonstrations and riots in Chemnitz, to which right-wing extremists traveled from all over Germany. This was also the case with a so-called funeral march by AfD, Pegida and Pro Chemnitz. The defendants are said to have taken part in this. Afterwards, however, they did not leave, but decided to march through Chemnitz in search of counter-demonstrators.

According to the Dresden Public Prosecutor’s Office, their aim was to intimidate opponents. To do this, they moved through the city in a larger group of at times more than 30 participants. Opponents were surrounded several times and hit in the face with fists. The attackers are said to have shouted “Adolf Hitler, our leader” and “fucking ticks”.

Criticism from victim representatives

They are said to have chased a man whom they identified as a migrant and shouted: “We’ll grab him. We’ll kill him.” A group of visiting Social Democrats and SPD sympathizers was also attacked.

It is the first of three proceedings pending at the Chemnitz Regional Court regarding the attacks on September 1, 2018. Victim representatives had previously sharply criticized the Saxon justice system and accused it of abandoning those affected. They would be discouraged by the long duration of the proceedings, while militant neo-Nazi networks would be strengthened. According to them, the attackers are trained in martial arts to intimidate, attack and injure political opponents.

The charges include breach of the peace and grievous bodily harm in eleven cases. According to his lawyer, one of the actual six defendants is in a psychiatric hospital, while another has gone into hiding before serving another prison sentence.

The four remaining defendants, aged 26 to 44, come from Saxony and Lower Saxony. The Chemnitz regional court has ordered increased security checks for the trial. Further days of negotiations are planned until the end of January.

Source: Stern

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