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Violence in Chemnitz

No place in Germany for vigilante justice

Following the riots in Chemnitz, the German government has sharply condemned the violent attacks. "Riots of this sort must not be allowed to happen on any square or any street," said Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday.

The Chancellor conveyed her sympathy to the family of the victim, and said it is good that suspects have already been arrested.

"It is our duty to defend our democratic culture of debate and discussion. There can be no place in our society for an anti-democratic movement," stressed deputy government spokesperson Ulrike Demmer. Democratic forces on the ground must now be strengthened. Federal Minister for Family Affairs Franziska Giffey will thus be visiting Chemnitz this Friday (31 August).

Last weekend, a 35-year-old German was fatally stabbed at a festival in Chemnitz. The police arrested a Syrian and an Iraqi who are suspected of being responsible. Following this, demonstrators marched through the streets of the city. Radical right-wing and xenophobic slogans were chanted and passers-by attacked.

Maintaining law and order

The Chancellor continued, "The scenes that then unfolded have no place in a rule-of-law state. We have video footage showing that there was targeted harassment, that there was rioting, that there was hate on the streets. That has no place under our rule of law."

"The police did all they could to bring things to a satisfactory conclusion and prevent even more violence," said Angela Merkel. The Federal Minister of the Interior has offered the support of the federal police force if the state of Saxony needs assistance to maintain law and order and ensure that the law of the land is respected.

Earlier federal government spokesperson Steffen Seibert had deplored the death. "This death will be investigated by the police, who are working flat out to ensure the suspect or suspects are brought to justice." He condemned the rioting. "In Germany there is no place for vigilante justice, for groups who want to spread hatred on the streets, for intolerance or for extremism."