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Carla Hinrichs: "I am convinced that I have done the right thing"

Photo: Arne Dedert / dpa

Carla Hinrichs, spokeswoman for the climate group Last Generation, has been sentenced to two months in prison on probation in an appeal process at the Frankfurt Regional Court. "It is in her own hands whether she has to go to prison again at some point or not," said the presiding judge Jochen Kirschbaum after about seven hours of hearing.

The appeal process was about a conviction of Hinrich from 2023. The 26-year-old is said to have blocked a Frankfurt street in 2022 and glued herself during the protest. As a result of the blockade, there was a major traffic jam. A penalty order of 60 daily fines of 30 euros each was imposed on the activist.

She lodged an objection against that decision. In May last year, the local court in Frankfurt am Main finally sentenced her to two months in prison on probation. After the verdict, Hinrichs appealed. This has now been discarded and the original sentence from last year has been pronounced again. The public prosecutor's office demanded a fine of 80 daily rates of 10 euros. The verdict is not yet final.

Hinrichs cries in the courtroom

Hinrichs described, sometimes in tears, that she had already grown up climate-conscious. "I'm convinced I did the right thing," she said, referring to the 2022 blockade.

With the announcements on social media and further blockade action, she might have tripped herself up, Kirschbaum told the defendant. "It's one thing to walk out of court as a young person and be and make spontaneous posts." It has a different quality to seek media publicity and to announce new protest actions several days after a conviction and to ignore verdicts.

Hinrichs stated that he would probably accept the original fine today instead of taking the risk of a criminal record. She would consider further blockade actions of the Last Generations.

In the run-up to the trial, Hinrichs had published a post on X. In it she writes: "On the way to Frankfurt. Tomorrow I will stand before the district court. 2023 was the hottest year on record. 2024 will begin with the prosecution of those who peacefully protest against further warming."