BERLIN – Brutal attack fuels calls to protect journalists

Four crew members of the satirical news show “Heute Show” were hospitalised after being ambushed by 20 to 25 masked individuals after filming on Friday (1 May) at a so-called “hygiene demonstration” in Berlin, which protests the country’s coronavirus restrictions.

Although some of the attackers had reportedly used metal rods, all hospitalised crew members have been discharged and are recovering well.

The state service responsible for politically motivated attacks has now begun investigations, while the Berlin police arrested six suspects, reportedly extreme leftists.

All suspects were released on Saturday (2 May) as four were not under urgent suspicion and there were no grounds to arrest the other two. 

In an interview with Der Spiegel, the managing director of the production company described a scene of “disproportionate violence against the press […] This was no ordinary brawl. It had a new quality.”

The incident has set off calls emphasising the importance of protecting press freedom. Among them, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer of the Christian Social Union (CSU) called for better protection for journalists, saying those who commit or threaten violence against the press must “feel the power of our constitutional state.” (Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de

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