11 Jun 2019 Lvl. 1
State repliedProgress
Alert created on: 04 May 2018 n° 37/2018 Germany

German Photographers Chased and Assaulted by Neo-Nazis

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner Index
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On 29 April 2018, two freelance photographers were injured after being chased through the Thuringian countryside by Neo-Nazis armed with baseball bats, knives, a wrench and teargas.

The pair were initially pursued by car, then on foot when they had to abandon their car on a country road. One of the photographers suffered an open wound to his head from being hit with a wrench and the other was stabbed in his thigh. The assailants smashed the car windows and slashed its tires before fleeing with the photographic equipment.

The photographers were taking images and video footage of the home of Thorsten Heise, Thuringian leader of the far-right party National Democratic Party (NPD). Anti-Fascist group ALI called Hiese’s home a networking point and training camp for violent Neo-Nazis in a statement on 30 April, regional daily Märkishe Allgemeine reported. In the previous week Heise hosted the “Shield and Sword” festival in Saxony attended by over 1,000 Neo-Nazis from Germany and neighbouring countries, in which police intervened numerous times as militants had done the Nazi salute and displaying signs of proscribed organisations.

Police are investigating charges of robbery and attempted homicide and conducted a raid on Heise’s home the same day. Police press spokesperson Fränze Töpfer said the suspects are known to the police.
11 Jul 2019: On 21 February 2019, the alleged assailants, Mr Heise Junior and Mr Bruno, were heard by the Juvenile Chamber of the Mühlhausen District Court.   Article by MDF (in German): “Zwei Männer wegen Angriffs auf Journalisten angeklagt”
22 Nov 2018
On 19 November 2018, the Public Prosecutor's Office at Mühlhausen filed charges against a minor son of Mr. Heise and Mr. Gianluca Bruno, a member of the NDP's Lower Saxony Executive Board, for assault and assault with a weapon.
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