According to police, demonstrators in the German state of Hessen threw stones and bottles and set off smoke bombs and tried to break through police barriers into the event venue, and launched “massive attacks” against their officers, in the early hours of Saturday.
In a statement, Hessen police said that “the police had to use pepper spray and batons,” and that there were “severe traffic problems in the area” and that there was also car damage.
Due to the festival’s organisers’ alleged ties to the Eritrean government, according to CNN affiliates NTV and ZDF, there was rioting a year ago. In recent years, thousands of Eritreans have emigrated to Europe, claiming that the current leadership has mistreated them.
According to ZDF, the city of Giessen attempted to prevent the festival from happening this year, but the ban was overturned by a municipal court.
Hessen police further stated that a total of 1,000 policemen from several departments had been dispatched and that the situation was ongoing, as per CNN.Hessen police said, “There are currently no concrete figures on the number of people injured or detained.”It further said that 60 persons were held overnight on Friday and Saturday on suspicion of plotting an attack at the event, CNN reported.