Police Accused of Slow Response: Neo-Nazis Attack Theater Group in Eastern German Town
A group of actors were beaten up by neo-Nazis in the eastern German city of Halberstadt and have accused the police of being slow to respond. The region's premier says he is appalled by the attack.
Far-right extremists attacked the actors because one of them had a punk hairstyle, newspaper reports said.
The theater group of 14 actors were on their way to a pub after a debut performance on Friday when they were attacked and beaten up by eight far-right youths. Several of the victims had teeth knocked out and required medical treatment for broken noses, injured ribs and jaws and eye injuries.
Police failed to arrest the 22-year-old main assailant even though he returned to the scene while the victims were being questioned, a regional government official said. "The man was checked by police but released before they found out about his prior convictions," Rüdiger Erben, interior ministry secretary for the state of Saxony-Anhalt, told Mitteldeutsche Zeitung newspaper.
The man, a known neo-Nazi, was arrested again on Sunday evening. Police are still searching for seven other assailants.
A number of people witnessed the attack and did nothing to help. The theater group had just finished a performance of the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and one of the actors had a punk hairstyle in keeping with his role. That appears to have been enough to provoke the neo-Nazis they came across, newspaper reports said.
The premier of Saxony-Anhalt, Wolfgang Böhmer, said he was appalled by the case.
"It's a sad fact that far-right extremists are becoming increasingly brutal. If people are attacked and injured just because of their appearance it's an appalling crime," Böhmer said.
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