A journalist seriously hospitalized after being attacked by protesters
A protester has died after participating this Sunday in Berlin in the protests against the restrictions dictated by the German authorities to combat the coronavirus epidemic, the police of the German capital reported today. The 49-year-old man collapsed when he was going to be identified by uniformed men when he was participating in an unauthorized demonstration of the so-called nonconformist movement. The agents immediately practiced first aid measures until the arrival of an ambulance, although the man died shortly after entering a hospital. Thilo Cablitz, a spokesman for the Berlin police, pointed out this Monday that almost 600 people were arrested in the course of several demonstrations against the restrictions expressly prohibited by the courts, which were joined by some 5,000 people. Law enforcement officers systematically acted against protesters for not respecting the minimum distance between people and refusing to wear masks, leading to clashes with riot police.
Some 2,000 policemen were deployed by the authorities of the German capital to confront the participants in the unauthorized protests, mostly virus deniers and anti-vaccine militants, but also elements of the extreme right. The Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg had banned the different calls on the conviction that the protesters would not respect the hygiene regulations issued to combat the disease. “The potential for aggression of the protesters was variable,” said Cablitz, who commented that there were moments of extreme violence by some participants in the protests, who tried to break the barriers created by the police to prevent their passage and frequently attacked the agents. Divided into groups, the protesters spent a good part of Sunday playing cat and mouse with the police, for their part focused on breaking up the rallies. “The objective was to prevent them from gathering en masse at specific points in order to reduce the risks of infection,” explained the police spokesman.
On the other hand, the Berlin media unanimously denounced the aggression suffered by the head of the local press association, Jörg Reichel, by participants in the protests. Reichel was attacked, knocked off his bicycle, and kicked and beaten while driving through the Kreuzberg neighborhood. Only the intervention of several people prevented the aggressors from causing further injuries to the journalists, who is hospitalized in serious condition. “We are shocked and express our solidarity with our colleague, who over the last few months has played the physical role to report the protests of the so-called nonconformists, denounce their abuses and defend press freedom,” said President Monique Hoffmann of the German Union of Journalists (DJU), who denounced that Reichel has been defamed and threatened for months by members of these groups. “Jörg was not intimidated and continued with his work,” said Hoffmann