Protesters clash with German police over jailing of activists who attacked neo-Nazis

Three far-left demonstrators arrested in Leipzig amid unrest sparked by prison sentences handed to four people over assaults on neo-Nazis, far-right activists

Trashcans burn in a street during a protest organised by far-left activists in Leipzig, eastern Germany, on June 3, 2023  (JENS SCHLUETER/AFP)
Trashcans burn in a street during a protest organised by far-left activists in Leipzig, eastern Germany, on June 3, 2023 (JENS SCHLUETER/AFP)

FRANKFURT, Germany — Several people were injured when far-left protesters clashed with police on Friday evening in Leipzig, eastern Germany, where more demonstrations are expected despite a ban.

Protestors set up roadblocks, started fires, and threw projectiles at security forces from rooftops and on the streets to protest prison terms handed out to four far-left activists, police said.

Several police and a reporter were injured and three of the hundreds of demonstrators were arrested, they said.

“We have launched inquires into public disorder, dangerous injuries, assaults on police officers, damage to property, and the illegal use of explosives,” Leipzig police tweeted Saturday.

Far-left activists called on social media for a national day of action in Leipzig on Saturday, despite a ban by local authorities.

The unrest comes after a court in Dresden, Saxony, on Wednesday sentenced a student from Leipzig and three other far-left militants to several years in prison.

Lina F. and the other three were found guilty of violent attacks on neo-Nazis and alleged far-right supporters between 2018 and 2020.

Since 2020, when the Leipzig student was remanded in custody, the slogan “Free Lina” has featured regularly at left-wing protests, German media said.

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