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Germany charges 4 far-left activists in attacks on neo-Nazis, other extremists

Group targeted far-right activists, including beating up people returning from rally and storming restaurant where they thought neo-Nazis were meeting, prosecutors say

Illustrative -- A man wears a jacket with writing on the collar which reads 'White Power' at a neo-Nazi rally in Berlin, Oct. 10, 2009  (AP Photo)
Illustrative -- A man wears a jacket with writing on the collar which reads 'White Power' at a neo-Nazi rally in Berlin, Oct. 10, 2009 (AP Photo)

BERLIN — Four far-left activists have been charged in Germany on allegations that they were part of a group involved in a series of attacks on neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremists over a period of two years, prosecutors said Friday.

Lina E., whose last name was not divulged in line with German privacy laws, is accused of coming up with the idea in 2018 to target far-right individuals based on a “militant extreme-left ideology” and helping to plan the attacks.

Three men, Lennart A., Jannis R. and Jonathan M., are alleged to have joined up with her no later than the end of 2019.

They were based in the eastern city of Leipzig, and most of the attacks came there or in nearby Wurzen, prosecutors said.

Several are alleged to have been involved in a 2020 attack with about 15 or 20 others on a group of six people in the Wurzen train station upon their arrival back from a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the firebombing of Dresden — an event that attracted many neo-Nazis and other far-right sympathizers. Several victims sustained serious injuries after being punched, kicked and hit with batons, prosecutors said.

All except Lennart A. are accused of an attack in 2019 in the central city of Eisenach, where police say they and about 10 to 15 others stormed a restaurant thought to be a meeting place of the far-right, beating five visitors and the owner with batons and causing serious injuries.

All are charged with causing serious bodily harm and other offenses. Lina E., who faces the most charges, has been in custody since her Nov. 5, 2020 arrest. The others have remained free.

There were no immediate details on when they may stand trial.

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