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Paris prosecutor appeals against release of French Antifa leader

The Paris prosecutor’s office has appealed against a ruling which could see the release of far-left Antifa extremist leader Antonin Bernanos.

Published: August 11, 2019, 11:38 am

    The April arrest of Bernanos along with several other Antifa members, came after they battled right-wing activists near Notre Dame cathedral, on the same day that the cathedral caught fire and its historic roof was destroyed.

    Bernanos is currently in pre-trial detention after being arrested in April but a judge ruled earlier this month to not extend the sentence past August 18, French tabloid le Parisien reported. French police worry that Bernanons may organise far-left extremist protests to disrupt the upcoming G7 summit in Biarritz later this month.

    The lawyer for the 24-year-old far-left extremist, denounced the appeal complaining that the prosecutor’s office had become a “judicial arm of the Ministry of the Interior”.

    Other leftists groups have called it “judicial persecution, a political decision because Antonin represents all those people who challenge the Macronist policy”.

    President Donald Trump has recently threatened to designate Antifa as a terrorist organisation. The group, also active in Germany, has complained on German social media about it. The Antifa message trended on reported Deutsche Welle.

    Supporters of the group, which has been involved in politically motivated violence in Germany, includes members of the far-left party Die Linke [The Left] and the German Green Party.

    In the early hours of Friday night, the car of another AfD party official was torched by Antifa members in Krefeld, a city in North Rhine-Westphalia. Forensic experts concluded that the fire had been started deliberately.

    Police were called to the arson attack on Germania street in the district of Bockum around 1:50 am on Friday. When emergency services reached the scene, most of the vehicle had been engulfed by fire and another car that was parked nearby was also damaged.

    The state security police took over the investigation since it was the politically motivated crime. Witnesses had seen a man, probably an Antifa member, wearing dark clothes and a hoodie near the vehicle before the fire.

    Politically motivated attacks against AfD party members have continued unabatedly, fueled by hostile rhetoric in the mainstream German media.

    A few days ago, the AfD politician Sebastian Koch and his partner survived an arson attack. They had both been sleeping in a wooden gazebo at an AfD summer festival when the structure was set ablaze by suspected Antifa assaillants.

    In 2016, the car of Frauke Petry, the former chairwoman of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) was set ablaze in a similar attack.

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