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Munich police under fire after mass arrest at tram stop

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Munich police under fire after mass arrest at tram stop
A Munich tram. Photo: DPA
13:50 CET+01:00
Almost 50 people spent a night in police custody after they were rounded up by police at a tram stop in the south east of Munich.

According to police, they arrested the 49 young people nine days ago for “a particularly severe case of breach of the peace.”

Authorities described how they were investigating 30 crime scenes, including the inside of a tram, where the group were accused of drunkenly rioting and graffiting public spaces.

Many of the suspects, all of whom were under the age of 36, were already known to police as members of the far left scene, police reported.

But now a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung suggests that authorities exaggerated the extent of the crimes committed that day and also arrested people who were not involved in the incident.

Furthermore, detainees report being forced into crowded jail cells, where they were refused access to water or toilets.

A witness spoken to by the paper reported that the young people had gathered for a concert, which was held spontaneously on a tram between Grünwald and Giesing.

When the tram reached Giesing the driver ordered them to get out, with the concert continuing on the street.

Around ten minutes later the cops arrived, first taking away people's ID cards, later confiscating their mobile phones, the student told SZ.

The 49 arrested people were then put into collective cells and were not not provided with water or a chance to go to the toilet, another detainee said.

He also reported being arrested despite not having been at the concert himself.

Adolescents were reportedly also denied the chance to call their parents, with some of them only released in the early hours of the morning.

Only about 12 hours after the arrests were the last of the suspects released.

People who the SZ spoke to also denied the police's claim that they had been “rioting”, saying that most of the graffiti and damage had been there for weeks or months.

A lawyer for several of those arrested has now filed a complaint against the police's actions.

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