Quadruple acquittal, general order and extended detention unlawful

– Legal tailwind
for democratic protest –

(from left to right:) Bernhard Bauer-Ewert (62), Michael Scheurer (74), Michael Salzgeber (25)
and Afra Porsche (25) after the acquittal at the Bensheim district court

Berlin, June 20.9.2023, 9, 15:XNUMX a.m – On Monday, September 18.9th Four Last Generation supporters were acquitted of charges of coercion in the Bensheim district court in southern Hesse. Michael Salzgeber (25), Afra Porsche (25), Michael Scheurer (74) and Bernhard Bauer-Ewert(62) took part in a road blockade in Heppenheim on September 6.9.2022th, XNUMX as part of nationwide protests. 

After extensive evidence and pleadings from the defendants, the judge decided that the freedom of assembly in this case outweighed the impairment of motorists and acquitted the four defendants.

The Munich Administrative Court (VGH) also recently ruled in favor of the fundamental right to freedom of assembly. After an urgent application by Last Generation against a general decree (AV) of the city of Aschaffenburg, the VGH made it clear: it considers the decree to be unlawful and sees it as one Violation of fundamental rights. [1]

The general order in Aschaffenburg banned meetings at which people stick, sit or walk on streets throughout the city if the meetings are related to the last generation or the topic of “climate protection”. The VGH has now suspended the AV with regard to sit-ins and protest marches. 

The Munich Regional Court also recently dealt with an illegal decision. After numerous protests in Munich, a judge ordered preventive detention for two women, which went beyond the length of time requested by the police. After a complaint from Last Generation, the Munich Regional Court declared custody until September 30.9th. for unlawful. [2] Solvig Schinköthe (43) and Miriam Meyer (31) were finally married on September 10.9th. were released from custody.

A decision is still pending as to whether preventive detention for people who peacefully protest for fair climate protection is fundamentally appropriate and proportionate. The court again granted a deadline for commenting on this.

Marion Fabian (73), spokesperson for the Last Generation, classifies the resolutions: “Of course, such partial legal successes encourage us and we would like to celebrate them. But if we broaden our perspective, it quickly becomes clear: there is no reason to celebrate. The federal government is ignoring physical laws and breaking our constitution. This violation of the law cannot be heard in individual district courtrooms; it must be brought to the public, to the streets. The repeated attempts to stop our necessary protest depresses us – but it cannot and will not stop us from increasing the pressure on the government.”

Yesterday, the human rights organization Amnesty International published a digital world map on the right to freedom of assembly and restrictions on protests worldwide. For the first time, Amnesty International counts Germany among the countries where protest is being suppressed. [3]

[1] Decision VGH Munich: Appendix 1
[2] Decision LG Munich: Appendix 2
[3] Freedom of assembly: Interactive map shows restrictions on protest worldwide – including in Germany | September 19.09.2023, XNUMX (amnesty.de)