German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday condemned two days of street protests in the eastern city of Chemnitz, which have left several people injured. Far-right groups had begun demonstrating on Sunday after a Syrian and an Iraqi were accused of killing a German man. The protests continued into Monday, as these groups allegedly attacked foreigners on the street.
“Such riotous assemblies, the hunting down of people who appear to be from different backgrounds or the attempt to spread hate in the streets, these have no place in our country,” Merkel’s spokesperson Steffen Seibert said, according to The Guardian.
Far-right mobs assaulted foreigners in Chemnitz who they believed to be immigrants, AFP reported. Chemnitz Police Chief Sonja Penzel said an Afghan teenager and a Syrian man were among those injured.
Penzel said that an estimated 800 people took part in the far-right demonstration at Karl Marx monument, AP reported. Of these, around 50 indulged in violence, and attacked police officers with bottles and stones.
On Monday, the far-right protests were countered by left-wing demonstrators, who accused the far-right of using the German man’s death for political ends, BBC reported. Both groups threw objects at each other, and riot police had to be called into action.
The police said the far-right demonstrators held placards like “stop the asylum flood”, and some gave the banned Nazi salute. The other group yelled slogans like “Nazis out” and “There’s no right to Nazi propaganda”. The protests have now ended.
The Iraqi and Syrian men accused of killing the German have been arrested. Prosecutor Christine Muecke said that the murder took place after an altercation during a street festival, AP reported.