Police arrest far-right 'vigilantes' in Chemnitz

Just two weeks after far-right riots rocked the city of Chemnitz, members of a group of self-ascribed "vigilantes" were taken into custody for targeting foreigners in the eastern German city. The group of about 15 men was accused of disturbing the peace and causing bodily harm, prosecutors said on Saturday.
The detentions were based on events that took place after a large far-right rally concluded on Friday, where as many as 3,500 people gathered under the city's iconic monument to Karl Marx and marched through the town center.

According to authorities, the men allegedly set out to harass foreigners in a city park on Friday night. They first targeted a birthday celebration, ordering anyone they deemed did not look German to show their identification papers. The partygoers, who were said to be young people of foreign descent, fled the scene and called the police.
Later, the vigilantes approached another group at the park, were they allegedly hurled xenophobic insults at seven people of different nationalities. In the encounter, the suspects injured a 26-year-old Iranian man, who suffered a laceration to the head.
Police later arrived and arrested the group. Nine of the suspected assailants were eventually released, while six others, aged 27 to 31, remained in custody as the investigation proceeds. One of the men already had a suspended sentence at the time of the arrest.

Chemnitz has been the battleground of protests and counter-protests , since three foreigners were thought to be involved in the death of a 35-year-old German-Cuban man during a street festival. The murder triggered far-right riots and it led to a national conversation about xenophobia in Germany and police response to far-right violence.