She was found to have participated in six violent attacks between 2018 and 2020
German police clashed with protesters in at least one city on Wednesday after a woman was convicted of taking part in several attacks on neo-Nazis and members of right-wing extremist groups.
According to police in Leipzig, around 800 people gathered in the city following the verdict, with ABC News reporting that an unknown number had attempted to break through police barricades. Some also threw projectiles at officers, including stones and fireworks. There were also demonstrations in Hamburg, Berlin and Bremen.
The 28-year-old woman, identified only as ‘Lina E.’ due to Germany’s strict privacy laws, was sentenced to five years and three months in prison after being convicted by a court in Dresden of membership of a criminal organization and of causing serious bodily harm. Three co-accused men were also handed custodial sentences.
In the hours after the verdict, the court announced that Lina E. was to be released under unspecified conditions. She had spent two-and-a-half years in custody prior to Wednesday’s verdict.
Prosecutors had accused Lina E. of possessing a “militant extreme-left ideology” and of participating in a string of attacks on prominent members of Germany’s neo-Nazi scene. The charges against the defendant accused her of six violent attacks between August 2018 and the summer of 2020, which resulted in injuries to 13 people. Two of those attacked received life-threatening injuries.
In one instance, a man who has since been convicted of establishing a right-wing extremist group was attacked with hammers, clubs and pepper spray.
In closing comments, the judge who presided over the case said right-wing extremism posed a far greater threat to Germany than any left-wing groups with which Lina E. was associated. He added, though, that Nazis had the same rights as any other citizen in the country, even if their ideologies are abhorrent.
Throughout the trial, which began in September 2021, Lina E. became a prominent figure within left-wing and anarchist subcultures supportive of actions against neo-Nazism and right-wing extremism. The slogan ‘Free Lina’ was regularly seen in graffiti in Berlin, Hamburg and Leipzig.