Police arrest 60 at anti-lockdown demonstrations in Berlin- report

A man wearing a face mask shows a signs reading "finally: compulsory grumbling for all!" during a protest against the government's coronavirus restrictions. (REUTERS)
Short Url
Updated 23 May 2020

Police arrest 60 at anti-lockdown demonstrations in Berlin- report

  • Germany has over 177,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and more than 8,200 have died in the country
  • Anti-lockdown protestors have descended on Berlin for the third weekend in a row

FRANKFURT: Police arrested about 60 protesters on Saturday as part of city-wide demonstrations against restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, German newspaper Tagesspiegel reported.
The protesters had violated official guidelines to keep the virus contained, and some had attacked police officials, the newspaper said, citing a police spokesman.
Two police officers were slightly injured, the paper added.
Berlin police were not immediately available to comment.
Protests against the measures Chancellor Angela Merkel insists are needed to slow down the coronavirus outbreak have become more vocal and demonstrators have filled the streets of the German capital for the third weekend in a row.
The number of confirmed cases in Germany rose by 638 to 177,850, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday. The reported death toll rose by 42 to 8,216, the data showed.
Merkel, in a podcast published earlier, defended the measures, including social distancing rules, adding she was aware of the concerns some had about how they interfered with their human rights.
“Yes, I can understand these concerns,” Merkel said. “This virus is an imposition for our democracy.”
She still said that lockdown restrictions had been necessary to make sure Germany’s health system does not get overstretched, adding this has been achieved so far. 


Britain’s Iraq war crimes probe dismisses thousands of complaints

Updated 10 min 16 sec ago

Britain’s Iraq war crimes probe dismisses thousands of complaints

  • Former lawyer Phil Shiner and a team in Berlin drew on the accounts of more than 400 Iraqis who allegedly witnessed or experienced crimes

LONDON: An independent British investigator looking into allegations that UK soldiers committed war crimes in Iraq between 2003 and 2009 said Tuesday that all but one of the thousands of complaints have been dropped.
The Service Prosecuting Authority director Andrew Cayley told BBC radio that it was “quite possible” that none of the original allegations will lead to a prosecution.
Cayley did not provide details of the allegation in the last remaining case.
British combat troops fought alongside other coalition forces in an effort to quell an Islamic insurgency that followed the 2003 US invasion and subsequent fall and execution of dictator Saddam Hussein.
Former lawyer Phil Shiner and a team in Berlin drew on the accounts of more than 400 Iraqis who allegedly witnessed or experienced crimes ranging from rape and torture to mock executions and other atrocities.
A UK tribunal struck off Shiner after finding him guilty of misconduct and dishonesty in connection with the allegations in 2017.
Cayley told the BBC that it was likely that no action would be taken in a separate International Criminal Court (ICC) probe.
“My sense is these matters are coming to a conclusion,” he said.
A lawyer representing some of the soldiers accused by Shiner called for a public apology over the “vile war crime slurs.”
“At long last, this witch hunt is coming to an end,” lawyer Hilary Meredith said.
The UK Defense Ministry said in 2012 that it had paid £15.1 million ($19 million, 17 million euros) to more than 200 Iraqis who had accused British troops of illegal detention and torture.