Germany puts anti-lockdown group under surveillance for possible extremist ties

Germany puts anti-lockdown group under surveillance for possible extremist ties [ad_1]

The nation’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) introduced on Wednesday that the brand new surveillance would concentrate on some members of the ‘Querdenker’ group.

The motion has been selling coronavirus and vaccine skepticism in addition to different conspiracy theories, and has been concerned in violent anti-lockdown protests.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer stated the Querdenker motion had proven it was prepared to make use of violence and that the authorities have to guard the rule of legislation within the nation.

“Right wing extremists are trying to take control [of these events] — and what we cannot tolerate at all is violence,” Seehofer stated at a information convention in Berlin on Wednesday. He burdened that individuals have the suitable to specific their opinions, however that there’s “zero tolerance” for extremism.

Members of the motion — whose identify means “thinking outside the box” or “lateral thinking” — have been protesting in opposition to lockdown measures because the begin of the pandemic.

Several German states have introduced comparable strikes in opposition to the motion prior to now. In December final yr, the Baden-Württemberg Office for the Protection of the Constitution stated it was monitoring the Querdenker motion.

At that point, the workplace stated the motion was intentionally mixing “extremism, ideological conspiracy and anti-Semitism” with authentic criticism of the state measures to include the pandemic.

German authorities have beforehand stated the motion has hyperlinks to far-right teams. The Baden-Württemberg authorities linked the motion to 2 extremist teams, the Reichsbürgern and the Selbstverwalter, which do not acknowledge the authority of the German authorities. The workplace additionally stated it was changing into evident that the group had hyperlinks to the QAnon movement.
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During the anti-lockdown protests, members of the Querdenker motion incessantly clashed with police and attacked members of the media.

The determination by the BfV comes on the time when extra restrictions are coming into place. Germany is struggling to include the newest wave of the pandemic. The authorities imposed new “emergency brake” guidelines for areas with excessive Covid-19 an infection charges on Saturday, utilizing a brand new legislation that provides the nationwide authorities energy to impose lockdowns on states for the primary time, ending the patchwork of state-by-state measures.

Germany reported 24,736 new coronavirus circumstances throughout the final 24 hours on Thursday, in line with the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the nationwide company for illness and management prevention. RKI information additionally says the demise toll in Germany has risen by 264, bringing the full quantity to 82,544.

Nadine Schmidt reported from Berlin. Ivana Kottasová reported and wrote from London.

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