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Man dies after being detained by Berlin police during anti-restrictions clashes

Thousands of people had rallied in the German capital’s Mitte district.

Image: DPA/PA Images

A 49-YEAR-OLD MAN has died after being detained by police during protests in Berlin against the German government’s anti-coronavirus measures.

Police said the man who died had complained of tingling in his arm and chest while officers checked his ID in the capital’s Mitte district, where thousands of protesters had rallied despite an official ban on demonstrations.

Officers provided first aid to the man until an ambulance arrived and took him to the hospital, where he later died, police said.

A routine investigation has been opened into the man’s death.

demonstration-ban-in-berlin-police Thousands of people marched through Berlin yesterday. Source: DPA/PA Images

Thousands of anti-lockdown demonstrators defied a court-ordered protest ban yesterday and gathered in the streets of Berlin, resulting in scuffles with police.

Police said some protesters had “harassed and attacked” officers and ignored roadblocks, disrupting traffic in parts of the German capital.

“Our barriers are ignored, sometimes overrun and emergency services are attacked,” Berlin police tweeted.

A police spokesman said some 5,000 protesters had turned out.

About 600 people were detained during the demonstrations, which saw outbursts of violence as protesters defied orders to disperse and tried to break through police lines.

A police spokeswoman said authorities are still trying to determine how many protesters and officers were injured during yesterday’s events, which were spread out across a large area.

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f9916fa7-53a8-4978-87b9-d2376dec1ad7 A demonstrator with a plastic bucket placed on his head reading ‘Absolutely safe against the stupidity virus’. Source: PA Images

The protest was called by the “Querdenker” (Lateral Thinkers) movement: a mix of critics of coronavirus vaccines, pandemic conspiracy theorists, and members of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

Judges had banned several of its planned demos this weekend, including yesterday’s one that was expected to draw some 22,500 people.

The court said it could not allow the rallies to go ahead over fears that participants would flout rules on mask wearing and social distancing, at a time when Germany’s infection numbers are on the rise again.

Germany has relaxed many of the measures imposed during the height of the pandemic, but some requirements to wear masks indoors and present negative Covid-19 tests or certificates of vaccination are still in place.

With reporting from AFP.

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