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Trial after violence surrounding Eritrea festival: 650 cases

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Thursday, 27 June 2024

Trial after violence surrounding Eritrea festival: 650 cases

During riots surrounding the controversial Eritrea Festival in Giessen last July, several police officers were injured.
Several police officers were injured in riots surrounding the controversial Eritrea Festival in Giessen last July. Photo
© Helmut Fricke/dpa

27.06.2024, 05:33
Injured police officers, bottles and stones thrown - the riots on the sidelines of the Eritrea Festival in Giessen have caused a great stir. The first court case is now pending.

Almost a year after the violent riots on the sidelines of the controversial Eritrea Festival in Giessen, the first trial will take place on Thursday (11 a.m.) in the district court of the central Hessian city. A 24-year-old man must answer to charges of serious breach of the peace, physical assault on law enforcement officers and dangerous bodily harm. 

The man is accused of participating in violent attacks on police officers as part of a group of around 100 people. The group is said to have armed itself with stones, bottles and sticks, among other things. Several officers are said to have been injured in the attacks, with bruises and lacerations. 

According to the Giessen public prosecutor's office , the 24-year-old is an Eritrean citizen. He is currently in custody, was last registered in Switzerland and has no previous convictions.

According to police, a total of 26 police officers were injured in the riots on the sidelines of the controversial festival in July 2023. Opponents of the event had thrown stones and bottles at officers, set off smoke bombs and broken through barriers in an attempt to enter the festival grounds. 

According to the public prosecutor's office, the events resulted in around 650 investigations. So far, around 50 charges and penal orders have been issued, a spokesman for the Giessen public prosecutor's office told the German Press Agency in response to a query. Some of the remaining cases are still open, some have been closed, or arrest warrants have been issued and the relevant persons have been put on the wanted list.

"Processing the approximately 650 investigations means a considerable additional burden for the Giessen public prosecutor's office, which also presents us with a major challenge in view of the already massive caseload," explained the spokesman. "This is because additional staff are not available to handle this task."

dpa

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