Far-left supporters of a woman sentenced to prison for taking part in attacks against neo-Nazis and other extremists clashed with police in the eastern German city of Leipzig over the weekend, in incidents that left 50 officers and several injured protesters.
The planned protest for Saturday between supporters of 28-year-old Lina E., whose full name was withheld for privacy reasons, was banned by the Leipzig authorities. According to the police, some 1,500 protesters turned out despite the ban.
What began as a peaceful protest ended in clashes between demonstrators and police, in which some threw stones, bottles and fireworks while the agents tried to evacuate some areas of the city. Leipzig police chief Rene Demmler said on Sunday that 50 of his officers and an unknown number of protesters were injured, German news agency dpa reported.
The severity of the injuries was not immediately clear.
Disturbance of public order
Authorities are investigating several people for serious disturbance of public order and assault on police officers. About 30 people were detained, Demmler said, and another 40 or 50 were arrested and released on Sunday afternoon.
German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser criticized the violent actions of some protesters and wished the injured officers a speedy recovery in a statement released on Sunday.
“Nothing justifies the senseless violence of left-wing extremists and rioters,” he declared. “Anyone who throws rocks, bottles or incendiary devices at police officers must be held accountable.”
Meanwhile, some politicians criticized the police’s actions towards the protesters, pointing out that they had been unnecessarily aggressive.