Chairman of Germany’s anti-migrant AfD party is ‘beaten nearly to death’ after he is attacked in ‘politically motivated’ ‘assassination attempt’
- WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE
- Far-right German politician Frank Magnitz attacked in the street
- Magnitz is MP and chairman for anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD)
- The party claims the assault on Magnitz was an assassination attempt
A far-right German MP has been seriously injured in a ‘politically motivated’ gang attack in the north of the country.
Frank Magnitz, leader in Bremen of the anti-immigration populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD), was assaulted in the city centre on Monday afternoon.
The AfD party published a photo of Magnitz lying injured on a hospital bed, claiming three masked men had hit the politician ‘with a piece of wood’ and fled the scene.
Politicians across the political spectrum, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, have slammed the ‘cowardly’ attack.
Attacked: Far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) published photo of MP Frank Magnitz in hospital after allegedly being attacked by three men in Bremen, northwest Germany
‘They hit him with a piece of wood until he was unconscious and then kicked him on the ground,’ the party said in a statement, adding that a construction worker had intervened to stop the assault.
‘Today is a dark day for democracy in Germany.’
Bremen Police said that ‘given the victim’s work, we believe that this is a politically motivated act.’
Chancellor Angela Merkel led cross-party condemnations of the assault, as her spokesman Steffen Seibert wrote on Twitter that the ‘brutal attack’ was ‘to be condemned sharply’.
‘Hopefully the police will succeed in catching the perpetrators quickly,’ he wrote.
AfD leader Joerg Meuthen tweeted that Magnitz was ‘beaten almost to death’ in a ‘cowardly and sickening’ attack.
Johannes Kahrs, an MP from the Social Democrats, junior partners in the ruling coalition, said ‘violence is never acceptable’ and that ‘extremism in any form is rubbish’. He wished Magnitz a quick recovery.
Anger: AfD representatives as well as opposition politicians have slammed the ‘cowardly’ attack on Mangitz, who is the local leader for the party in Bremen
Cem Ozdemir of the opposition Greens party said he hoped those responsible could be ‘found and convicted soon’ and that, even against a far-right party, ‘nothing justifies violence’.
‘Those who fight hate with hate only allow hate to win in the end,’ said the politician of Turkish origin.
Last week, an explosive device detonated in a rubbish bin damaged an AfD office in Saxony. Three suspects were detained.
And last weekend in Lower Saxony, the home of a local AfD politician was targeted with graffiti and a party office was attacked with a paint bomb.
The AfD entered Germany’s parliament with almost 13 per cent of the vote in September 2017, making it the strongest opposition party in the Bundestag lower house.
The party is expected to make gains in European elections in May and three regional polls in the former communist east later this year.