BERLIN (AA) - Police in Germany have come under severe criticism for the excessive use of force against demonstrators who gathered Sunday in the capital Berlin despite a ban by local authorities to protest against the government’s anti-COVID measures.
Dozens of videos uploaded on social media have documented police officers using disproportionate force to disperse protesters, throwing people on the ground and violently arresting many of them.
In one of the dramatic videos, a police officer was caught on camera punching a teenager in the face and putting him on the ground.
Another video showed a police officer punching a woman in the throat and knocking her unconscious.
Berlin police confirmed Monday that a 49-year-old protester died at a hospital after being detained by officers the day before and said authorities have opened an investigation into the incident. His death appeared to have been from a heart attack, according to local media reports.
Dozens of protesters were injured and nearly 600 people were detained during the demonstrations, which was organized by the Stuttgart-based Querdenker movement, the most visible anti-lockdown movement in the country.