According to a report by the Federal German Police, attacks on journalists have tripled in the country over the past four years. Many of these incidents are also directly related to protests during the coronavirus.
Responding to a question asked by the left-wing ‘Left Party’ in the German parliament, the federal crime investigation agency BKA said that its national reporting service reported a total of 2022 cases against journalists. registered 320 criminal cases. The first such crime figures were compiled in 2016, since which the number has been reported to be the highest ever.
The German newspaper “The Welt” wrote with reference to this report that out of 320 political attacks on media workers, 46 were of a violent nature, 41 were threats, 31 were attempts to damage property and 27 were other. The incidents were related to incitement against journalists.
The federal German state of Saxony topped the list with 69 such crimes. This was followed by 66 such incidents in Berlin and 40 in the southern state of Bavaria. About 20 such cases were recorded in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state.
Figures published in The Welt and other German media outlets show that crimes targeting the media in Germany and reported to authorities have tripled over the past four years. Since 93 such attacks in 2018, the number has seen a steady increase.
Is the violence against journalists related to the Corona epidemic?
The left-wing party’s inquiry also sought data on the number of criminal attacks, which were directly linked to protests during the coronavirus pandemic. The number is said to be 64, including 15 violent incidents. In this list too, the state of Saxony topped the other German states, accounting for more than half of the total of 64 such incidents, 34.
“In 2022, the number of recorded crimes against media professionals has sadly reached a new high,” said Petra Zitte, media spokesperson for the Left Party. In this, like last year, a third of the violent crimes were committed in connection with the protests against the restrictions imposed due to the corona virus epidemic.
He added, “Although such protests die down over time, the anti-press attitude and extremism of certain groups continue to be a problem.” Emphasized the state and federal strategy to ensure the protection of freedom of press and those working for the national media and in this regard the situation can be continuously evaluated in the future.
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