Horst Seehofer commented with outrage at the brutal attack on a team of the ZDF “today show” in Berlin. Anyone who attacks journalists must “feel the power of our rule of law,” said the Federal Minister of the Interior. Violence and threats of violence should be outlawed. “This is about the fundamental values of our community,” Seehofer said.
At the same time, he pointed to the obligation of the security authorities to protect media representatives also at demonstrations. “Freedom of the press is a pillar of our democracy. The state has to guarantee that this fundamental right is guaranteed at all times and in every place,” said the CSU politician.
The seven-member team of the satirical show, which included cameramen, an editor and comedian Abdelkarim, and three security guards, had filmed at a demonstration against the Corona rules on Friday. According to police, the team was then attacked so brutally by 20 to 25 masked men that six of them had to be treated in hospital.
Reporter Abdelkarim, who was uninjured in the attack, thanked security guards, witnesses, police and paramedics for their help via Twitter on Saturday. “According to a security guard, we were lucky in the accident. It could have ended much more tragically,” he wrote.
The attackers attacked the team with manslaughter, Harald Ortmann, the managing director of the production company involved, confirmed to SPIEGEL. According to him, it is now standard for the fact that security personnel are engaged for filming during demonstrations.
They were seriously injured during their work on Friday when they tried to protect the sound assistant and the cameraman. “The brutality with which our sound assistant was kicked in the face shows that someone has taken the risk that a person will not survive this.”
Initially, six suspects had been arrested, who according to dpa information belong to the left spectrum. On Saturday, however, they were released. No arrest warrant had been issued, the Berlin Prosecutor’s Office said. Four of those arrested had no urgent suspicion of wrongdoing and the other two had no grounds for detention.