Hessen: Chief of Police condemns violence at cultural events

Giessen (dpa/lhe) - After the violence against helpers and visitors to a controversial Eritrean cultural event in Giessen, Giessen police chief Bernd Paul condemned the attacks.

Hessen: Chief of Police condemns violence at cultural events

Giessen (dpa/lhe) - After the violence against helpers and visitors to a controversial Eritrean cultural event in Giessen, Giessen police chief Bernd Paul condemned the attacks. "There is no justification for these actions," Paul said. "I assure you that we will try with all means at our disposal to identify the perpetrators and call them to account." A working group of state security is now investigating the suspicion of bodily harm and dangerous bodily harm, property damage and serious breach of the peace.

According to the announcement, around 100 people had attacked helpers and visitors to the event planned for Saturday evening. 26 helpers at the event were injured, and seven police officers also suffered minor injuries. The alleged perpetrators were apparently participants in a meeting that was directed against the event. They climbed over barriers and suddenly attacked people with batons, iron bars, knives and stones, and police officers were also attacked and stones thrown at them. In order to cope with the "raid-like attack", the officials used pepper spray and batons and called in other emergency services.

There is much to suggest that these were planned actions. In the evening, the police had dissolved the event to ward off further dangers. A total of 300 officers were deployed. They determined the identity of 75 people, issued numerous evictions and secured evidence such as batons and stabbing weapons.

The event is controversial. Critics see a problematic proximity to the government of Eritrea. Clubs had tried in advance to have the event banned, but the Gießen administrative court had rejected a corresponding urgent application. According to the court, the clubs justified the event by saying that the event was "used by the Eritrean regime in particular to propagate content that incites hatred and glorifies violence".

The organizers also condemned the use of force and called on victims and witnesses to file criminal charges and to support the police in their investigations.

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