15 Jun 2020 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 04 May 2020 n° 47/2020 Germany

ZDF Camera Crew Severely Assaulted in Berlin

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner ECPMF EBU EFJ/IFJ
Partner ECPMF EBU EFJ/IFJ
On 1 May 2020, a crew of seven media workers from German public service broadcaster ZDF was severely assaulted in Berlin.

The crew included a journalist, a cameraman, a camera assistant, three security guards, and comedian and cabaret artist Abdelkarim. According to reports, the team was heading back to their vehicles after shooting the satirical programme "heute-show" near protests against COVID-19 confinement rules when they were violently attacked by a group of around 15 hooded individuals. All media workers except Abdelkarim were severely injured and sent to hospital. They left hospital in the evening.

Four men and two women were arrested on that evening in connection with the attack. On 2 May 2020, the suspects were brought before a magistrate, who released them. According to a statement by the spokesperson for the Berlin Attorney-General, pressing grounds of suspicion or grounds for detention were insufficient, though the arrested persons had ties with left-motivated criminality. According to a spokesperson for the Federal Police, who quoted witness reports, the attackers arrived on the scene in a car and with bikes, and had planned the assault. The State Protection Office, that investigates politically motivated crimes, took over the investigation on 2 May 2020.

The chairman of the German Association of Journalists, Frank Überall, ZDF's programme director and several media outlets and freedom of expression organisations condemned the attack.
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