Berlin bans protests against COVID-19 curbs

Berlin bans protests against COVID-19 curbs

Authorities in the German capital have banned several protests against anti-coronavirus measures planned there this weekend, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

Andreas Geisel, senator of the interior of Berlin, welcomed the ban but stressed that "this is not a decision against freedom of assembly but a decision for infection protection."

Citing the rising infection numbers in Germany, the authorities had "chosen life" over the fundamental right to freedom of assembly, Geisel stressed.

On Saturday, Germany's federal agency for disease control and prevention, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), registered more than 2,000 new daily COVID-19 infections for the first time since April.

The scheduled protests in the German capital were expected by the authorities to "violate the current infection protection ordinance," according to a statement by the city of Berlin on Wednesday.

The Stuttgart-based "Querdenken 711" (Lateral Thinking 711) initiative had registered a protest in Berlin with an expected 22,000 participants for this Saturday. Michael Ballweg, founder of the initiative, criticized the ban and said they would take legal action at the Federal Constitutional Court.

Berlin officials, however, argued that previous protests in August had shown that the participants had "deliberately ignored existing hygiene rules and corresponding requirements," the statement read.

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