Date: Saturday, 16 September 2023
09/17/2023 – 00:04
Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt (ots)
Over 300 police officers were on duty in the area of the Roman fort on Saturday (September 16, 2023) on the occasion of a registered event organized by an Eritrean association. Even before the event began, several hundred opponents of the event, who were presumably opposition members of the Eritrean government, gathered around 11 a.m. in the area of Stuttgart main train station and Bad Cannstatt train station. The people were assigned a meeting place near the Phoenix Hall, but this was rejected. At around 1.30 p.m. there were massive riots in the area of Hallschlag Street, in which event participants and police officers were attacked by opponents of the event with, among other things, wooden slats, some with nails, metal rods, bottles and stones. Police officers then used batons and pepper spray. To deal with the operational situation, emergency services from the police headquarters in Stuttgart, Ludwigsburg, Aalen, Einsatz, the Federal Police and the rescue service were called in. A police helicopter and the police cavalry squadron were also deployed to deal with the situation.
The event then began around 4:30 p.m., with around 80 to 90 participants, and ended around 6:55 p.m. The participants then left under police protection. At around 5 p.m., the larger group of people from the spectrum of event opponents surrounded themselves. Other small groups were identified in the area and also brought into the enclosure, so that around 8 p.m. there were around 200 people in the enclosure. Officials then established the personal details and issued expulsions. In addition, police officers cordoned off a large area of the area, which caused traffic disruptions, especially for residents.
A total of 26 police officers, four event participants and two opposition members were injured in the riots. Six officers had to be treated in hospital. Five police officers were unable to continue their duties.
Police Vice President Carsten Höfler:
"Today we were the buffer stop for an Eritrean conflict that was carried out with massive violence on the streets of Stuttgart. Neither the extent nor the intensity of the violence was apparent in advance. Nevertheless, through professional intervention we were able to arrest almost all of the troublemakers. Unfortunately "We have 26 injured people and I wish them a speedy recovery."
The Stuttgart Criminal Police Department accepts information on +4971189905778 or via the information portal on the Internet. The portal can be accessed at the following link: https://bw.tippportal.de/
A press conference will take place on September 17th, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. in the area of the Stuttgart Roman fort (Naststrasse 15 B, 70376 Stuttgart).
As of: 11:50 p.m
Please send inquiries to:
Stuttgart Police Headquarters
Telephone: 0711 / 8990 - 1111
Office hours: Monday to Friday 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Outside office hours:
Telephone: 0711 8990-3333
E-mail: stuttgart.pp @polizei.bwl.de
Around 200 people had previously gathered for an event organized by the Association of Eritrean Associations in Stuttgart and the surrounding area. These clubs sympathize with the government in Eritrea, according to police spokesman Timo Brenner.
At lunchtime, several small groups of opposition members gathered at Bad Cannstatt train station and Stuttgart main station. They attacked the officials at the Roman fort.
They used batons and pepper spray against the attackers. Additional forces had to be requested from surrounding police headquarters, from the police headquarters and the federal police. Helmeted people were also flown in by helicopter.
BILD spoke to eyewitnesses. A shocked resident said: “It was like a war here!” Dozens of police chased the attackers through the streets. “Men threw stones at the officers from a schoolyard next to us. A police helicopter was on duty. It was so hectic. I thought there would be shooting soon.”
According to a police spokeswoman, the event was registered in the Roman fort. But why couldn't the police prevent the attack in Stuttgart after the Eritrea Festival incidents in Giessen ?
Brenner: “We were warned and had numerous forces on site. However, such massiveness of the attacks could not have been foreseen.”
From the perspective of the organizers of the Eritrea meeting in Stuttgart, the police underestimated the situation.
“We asked for police protection and said what these people are capable of,” says Salomon T., who organized the event and did not want to be quoted with his full name. The event was a “seminar with information about Eritrea”. The organizer says that 70 people had to wait in the hall during the attacks.
The situation has now calmed down somewhat. According to the police, there are still individual skirmishes and smaller groups repeatedly attack the officers.