26 police officers injured amid Eritrea Festival protests in Giessen, Germany


At least 26 police officers in Germany were hurt after making efforts using batons and pepper spray to halt crowds targeting an Eritrean cultural festival in the central town of Giessen.

The protesters viewed the festival’s continuation in Giessen as evidence of the authoritarian Eritrean government’s authoritarian propaganda campaign.

In an official police statement, it was stated that 26 police officers were hurt during hours-long Saturday clashes.

Police had to halt traffic in the town centre and make nearly 100 arrests.

According to the police report, protesters damaged some vehicles, tore down security barriers surrounding the festival, and threw bottles and stones at police.

In addition, the statement claimed that they threw rocks at buses carrying festival attendees.

A video that surfaced on Twitter appears to show protesters clashing with police in the town in large numbers.

After similar unrest broke out the previous year, the town authorities attempted to stop the festival from happening, but a local court overturned the restriction.

Giessen, which has a population of about 84,000, is located about 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Frankfurt am Main.

The Central Council for Eritreans in Germany, which is thought to be close to the Eritrean embassy, is in charge of organising the festival, the BBC reported.

As one of the largest groups of African migrants looking to settle in the EU, Germany has recently granted asylum to a large number of Eritreans.

Human rights organisations have documented widespread abuses committed by the Eritrean government, including stern censorship, forced labour, and conscription into the military that is compared to slavery.__The News