Police arrest ZDF team at Pegida demo: police union defends action

At the Pegida demo: the Dresdner police keep the ZDF team going: the police union defends action

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The Saxon police are criticized by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) because of their action against journalists on the sidelines of the visit to Dresden. According to ZDF data, a camera crew who had been on the Merkel mission last Thursday was attacked by Pegida demonstrators on behalf of the station and then detained by the police for about three quarters of an hour.

A video with excerpts from the incident caused further indignation. This was one of the reporters who were posted on Facebook on Friday.

This can be seen in the video:

The footage shows how a Pegida demonstrator first calls "lying press" in the direction of the camera crew, and then loudly and loudly demands not to be filmed. At the request of the reporter, the man must simply continue, this does not respond. Instead, he complains about the frontal shots and says, "You have committed a crime, we are now clarifying the police." Later the TV team is checked by civil servants. It is the following altercation, which can be seen in the video:

  • Policeman: "This is now a police measure …"
  • Reporter: "What is aimed at a cameraman."
  • Policeman: "That does not matter for the first time, we do not do an interview here, you're putting the microphone away."
  • Reporter: "I'm sorry, I'm a journalist, if you act against the press now …"
  • Policeman: "We are not going against the press." Later, the police say they check the press card and the rights of the journalists.

What do the conflict parties say about the case – and what is the police doing at such events? An overview.

That says the ZDF:

"It is a clear limitation of free reporting," said ZDF editor-in-chief Peter Frey. "The team behaved correctly, the ZDF requires a clarification of the process." The reporter complained that the police officers had made "the executive power of the Pegida movement" through their actions.

The prime minister says:

"The only people who seem to be serious in this video are policemen," the Saxon Premier Michael Kretschmer (CDU) wrote on Twitter on Saturday. For this he was heavily criticized, he was accused of a prejudice. Finally, on Sunday, he said: "The matter will be dealt with calmly and then we will see what we are doing." His role as prime minister is also to deal with the officials "and I do that".

This is what the Ministry of Home Affairs says:

The Saxon Ministry of the Interior defended Twitter by the police officers who had identified journalists' identity after advertisements. "If a complaint is filed, it does not matter who, the officials have to act and take personal information," it said in the statement. "We should not judge film films prematurely, but watch in peace, the whole raw material." The police commissioner of Dresden had invited the reporters for an illuminating conversation.

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That says the police union

The federal president of the German police union, Rainer Wendt, defends the actions of the officials. "I also saw the video, it does not allow a final assessment, but what I've seen are pretty calm and sovereign intervening officials, experienced officials, not career principles," he says. "I tend to say that the police acted as part of their professional duties."

The high value of freedom from the press is always the subject of training and training of police officers, says Wendt. "The police are therefore always inclined to offer journalists the greatest possible freedom, but unlike parliamentarians, journalists do not enjoy immunity and are therefore not protected from prosecution," emphasizes the trade union leader.

Wendt speaks of a very difficult area of ​​tension between freedom of the press, which the police want to protect and the law enforcement duty, the police. "If crimes are reported, there is a duty to act, even if only with personal identification."

That the police in any case had to record the personal data of the reporters after an advertisement, as the ministry of internal affairs had informed – that is in contradiction with Wendt. "Policemen have to weigh up in such special situations if the personal identification does more harm than good, there is no automatism, only a case-by-case assessment." In this case, the police officers seemed to have made an effort to take action and to restrict journalists. explain the usually short period of personal identification.

Why the review of personal data took 45 minutes has to be clarified. "The fact that this took so long did not necessarily have to do with the officials, but perhaps also with the discussions that took place immediately between journalists and the police, as seen in the video sequence."

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This is what the police commissioner of Dresden says:

"In that case we were faced with criminal prosecution, which meant we had no more room for discretion," police commissioner Horst Kretzschmar said on Monday. "Against this background, the Dresden police clearly distanced themselves from the accusation." "The determination of the identity of all parties was inevitable, stressed Kretzschmar, with reference to the principle of legality, after the police in a possible violation to investigations in all directions and without respect of the person is obliged." Kretzschmar was pleased that the team "Frontal 21 "had accepted his invitation to talk.

This is what journalist organizations say:

"It is frightening and worrying that the systematic violation of the rights of journalists, especially during major events, has become a daily reality," said Cornelia Hass, the federal director of the German Journalism Union (DJU). The police were "pulled out of the cars by harassing furious citizens instead of protecting the reporters from the attackers, so they could conduct their reporting mission freely."

The federal chairman of the German journalist association Frank Überall demanded full investigation of the incident from the responsible politicians in Saxony. "This is an unjustified interference in press freedom."

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hau / with agencies

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