January 19, 2019

Assailants beat far-right lawmaker unconscious: German police

10 January 2019, 05:32 | Darnell Patrick

Frank Magnitz of the AfD was seriously injured in what police suspect was a"politically motivated attack Credit Michael Kappeler DPA

Frank Magnitz of the Alternation for Germany party, who was seriously injured in a suspected politically motivated attack

His party, known by its German acronym AfD, distributed a photo of him lying on a gurney, with a bloody, gaping wound on his head and his right eye bruised and swollen.

A far-right German politician was seriously injured in a "politically motivated" gang attack in the north of the country, police said on Tuesday.

Bremen police said they believe the attack on Frank Magnitz, an MP in Germany's national parliament who leads Alternative for Germany's (AfD) local branch, was a "politically motivated act, given the victim's work". In the statement, published on their website, they also accused the left-wing party Die Linke as well as the Social Democrats and the Greens of supporting Antifa and their attacks.

The AfD say they keep track of attacks against their officers, members, and their homes, and gave statistics to Breitbart London which showed that attacks have risen from only four in 2014 to well over 600 in 2017.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said the "brutal attack" was "to be condemned sharply".

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who has been a strong critic of AfD, tweeted: "Violence must never be a means of political confrontation - no matter against whom or what the motives are". "Whoever carries out such a crime has to be punished accordingly".

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Bremen, Germany's smallest state, holds a regional election on May 26, the same day as European Parliament elections in which AfD hopes to make gains.

The reported attack came just three days after an unknown substance exploded outside the AfD office in the eastern town of Doebeln, in Saxony state. Three suspects were detained.

The Alternative for Germany became a major political force in Germany in 2017, when the party won 12.6 percent of the vote in federal elections, entering the Bundestag for the first time with 94 seats. Shortly after he left a local newspaper's New Year's reception, the perpetrators knocked the 66-year-old down with a wooden plank and continued kicking his head until a construction worker, who happened to be nearby, intervened.

Party co-chiefs Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel called the latest assault the "result of the incitement to hatred by politicians and media against us".

"Our democracy needs controversies, exchanges with arguments, even when this gets heated". He wished Magnitz a quick recovery.

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