Free Press Journal

Fears of ‘2nd Chemnitz’ as Afghans held over German man’s death


 Koeten : Around 2,500 people marched in a far-right demonstration in eastern Germany on Sunday after a German man died following a fight with two Afghans, as officials pleaded for calm to avoid the anti-foreigner unrest that has shaken Chemnitz.

Local police and prosecutors said the 22-year-old deceased had suffered acute heart failure after coming to blows with the suspects during a dispute on a playground in the town of Koethen late on Saturday.

The German man’s death was “not directly” linked to the injuries suffered in the brawl, authorities said in a statement. Local media reported he died in hospital and that he had a pre-existing heart condition.

Prosecutors said one of the Afghan suspects, aged 18, stands accused of causing grievous bodily harm. The other, aged 20, faces charges of causing bodily harm with fatal consequences.

The incident was expected to inflame anti-migrant tensions, coming just two weeks after the fatal stabbing of a 35-year-old German man in the city of Chemnitz, allegedly by two asylum seekers. “With emotions running high, we have to resist any attempt to turn Koethen into a second Chemnitz,” the state premier of Saxony-Anhalt, Reiner Haseloff, told DPA news agency.

Chemnitz, also located in Germany’s former Communist east, has been rocked by a series of far-right demonstrations that saw participants assault foreign-looking people and shout anti-immigration slurs.