Europe

Anadolu Agency reporters injured covering May Day protests in Germany

Erbil Basay hit by police while covering protests, Cuneyt Karadag injured after stone was thrown at him

Ayhan Simsek   | 03.05.2021
Anadolu Agency reporters injured covering May Day protests in Germany

BERLIN

Anadolu Agency reporters Erbil Basay and Cuneyt Karadag were slightly injured while covering clashes between the police and demonstrators during May Day protests in Berlin.

Basay, an experienced reporter working at Anadolu Agency’s Berlin office, was hit in the face by a German police officer, while he was filming the arrest of protesters in the capital’s Neukoelln district. He suffered a minor mouth injury.

Cuneyt Karadag, chief of the AA’s Berlin office, was also injured from stones thrown by demonstrators during the clashes with the police.

Basay said while they were trying to cover the May Day protests in the Sonnenallee, the police started to use excessive force, and targeted not only demonstrators but also reporters.

“While protesters started throwing bottles and stones, the police responded with force. I was filming the arrest of a protester. At that moment a police officer tried to block my camera, and directly punched me in the face,” he said.

His colleague Karadag said peaceful protests suddenly turned chaotic. Violence also targeted journalists who were trying to cover the developments, he added.

“The police used excessive force after skirmishes broke out,” he said, adding that he was hit by a heavy stone while he was trying to protect himself behind a wall.

Berlin police have arrested at least 354 people who took part in May Day demonstrations that devolved into full-scale riots in the German capital on Saturday night.

Around 5,600 police officers from several federal states were on duty during the May Day rallies in Berlin.

Aisha Kamal, one of the organizers of the May Day protests, blamed the police for the escalation of tensions on Saturday night, and she told local media that protesters were deliberately provoked by the police forces during the rallies.

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