June 4, 2023

Violence erupts in Germany as woman jailed over attack on neo-Nazis

Violence erupts in Germany as woman jailed over attack on neo-Nazis

Left-wing protesters and police have clashed for a second night in the eastern city of Leipzig, Germany, over a jail term given to a woman convicted of vigilante attacks on neo-Nazis.

Police said demonstrators mounted roadblocks, lit fires and threw stones at officers, according to BBC.

Lina E was sentenced to five years in jail, but released pending an appeal as she had been detained since 2020.

The protest in the city, where Lina E had studied, had earlier been banned.

A police spokesman said around 1,500 people turned up anyway, claiming around a third of those were “prone to violence.”

Saturday’s violence followed similar scenes the previous night when several hundred people lit bonfires in the street and threw stones from buildings onto police vehicles.

On Sunday police said about 50 officers had been hurt and 30 protesters arrested over the two nights.

Lina E was regarded as a leader of a far-left group responsible for carrying out a brutal campaign of violence against the extreme right over several years, including attacks with hammers, iron bars and baseball bats.

After Lina E was found guilty, there were far-left protests in several cities and police were targeted with bottles and fireworks and baseball bats.

Three men convicted alongside her were also given jail sentences on Wednesday.

Other Germans were angered by the decision to release Lina E, after two-and-a-half years in custody – believing the decision implies violence against the extreme right is acceptable.

She is said to be unwell and has had to hand in her identity card and passport while she waits for the result of her appeal.