MDR journalists attacked by masked people on anti-corona demonstration – police are investigating

  • Felix Durach

    fromFelix Durach


A camera team from the MDR was attacked by demonstrators on the sidelines of an anti-corona demonstration on Monday evening in Zwickau. The MDR condemns the incident.

Zwickau – During a demonstration against the applicable corona measures on Monday evening in Zwickau, there was an assault on a camera team from Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR). The police in charge also confirmed the incident in the Saxon city. The MDR drew the first conclusions from the attack on Tuesday and filed a complaint. In addition, director Karola Wille has sharply condemned the attacks on the journalists of the public service broadcaster. It is not the first incident of its kind in the context of anti-corona demonstrations.

But what happened? On Monday evening, a so-called “walk against the corona measures” took place in the city center of Zwickau, during which people demonstrated against the pandemic policy of the federal and state governments. The demonstration was organized, among others, by the political movement “Free Saxony”, which was classified by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution as a “proven right-wing extremist movement” and therefore anti-constitutional. The demonstration was not officially registered and approved.

Zwickau: MDR camera team attacked by masked people on anti-corona demo

There was also a camera team on site to report on the demonstration for the MDR program “Exakt”. According to a Twitter video that was recorded and published by one of the MDR journalists with a smartphone and published, the camera team was attacked by two masked men on the street. You can see how the two men purposefully cross a street and apparently seek direct confrontation with the MDR team. First, the journalists are yelled at and asked to turn off the camera before the two men push the camera aside and continue to harass other team members.

The journalist who recorded the video with his smartphone was also bumped into shortly afterwards and addressed verbally before the police officers in sight could intervene. Shortly afterwards, more men attack the police, which leads to tumultuous scenes.

MDR journalists attacked: Police are investigating – MDR Itendantin condemns the incident sharply

The Saxony police announced on Tuesday morning in a statement: “During an unregistered meeting yesterday evening in Zwickau there were verbal and physical attacks against an MDR camera team. Police intervened immediately. Identities were established and several criminal charges were made. “As the MDR reports with reference to the Zwickau police department, a 17-year-old is being investigated who is accused of bodily harm, coercion and violations of the Saxon Corona Protection Ordinance and the Assembly Act.

MDR director Karola Wille condemned the attack on Monday evening. The increasingly violent dispute over corona measures is frightening and unbearable. It takes strong solidarity and constant advocacy for media freedom rights as an important basic right of every democracy, so Wille.

Freedom of the press: not the first attack on journalists at anti-corona demonstrations

It is no longer uncommon for journalists to be victims of attacks at demonstrations against the corona policy of the federal and state governments. For this reason, the organization Reporters Without Borders downgraded press freedom in Germany from “good” to “satisfactory” for the first time in April. In the reason for the assessment, the increased attacks on corona demonstrations against journalists were explicitly mentioned as the reason. (fd)

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