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Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser

Photo: Frederic Kern / Future Image / IMAGO

The Dresden verdict against the student Lina E. for several attacks on right-wing extremists has met with approval in the federal government. Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) welcomes the decision.

"You don't fight extremism with extremism. We must protect our liberal democracy from its enemies, but not with vigilante justice," the politician wrote on Twitter. Law and order apply to everyone, Buschmann continued. "Where the boundaries of the legal system are crossed, the public prosecutor's office and the police are called upon."

The Higher Regional Court of Dresden had found Lina E., a native of Kassel, guilty on Wednesday morning and sentenced her to five years and three months in prison for several attacks on right-wing extremists.

The court considers it proven that E. was a member of a criminal organization that had attacked right-wing extremists – including in Eisenach and Leipzig. For her three co-defendants, the State Security Chamber imposed prison sentences ranging from two years and five months to three years and three months.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) sees an increasing danger from left-wing extremist violent criminals. "In left-wing extremist groups, inhibitions have fallen to attack political opponents with extreme brutality," said the politician in reference to the verdict in Dresden. "In a democratic state governed by the rule of law, there must be no room for vigilante justice," it said in a statement. No goal justifies political violence.

Faeser warned that the spiral of radicalisation and violence must not be allowed to continue. "Our security authorities are keeping a very close eye on the violent left-wing extremist scene and will continue to act consistently," it said. The authorities would also continue to focus on the left-wing extremist scene in the coming days and weeks.

The verdict against E. should not distract from right-wing extremist motivated acts, warned the Left Party member of parliament Katharina König-Preuss. There had been right-wing extremist motivated damage to property, bodily injury and violations of the Weapons and Explosives Act in Eisenach.

She called for a comprehensive reappraisal of the conditions in Eisenach. Admittedly, it does not matter for the sentencing in the proceedings that the state and society have watched as a strong right-wing extremist scene has emerged in Eisenach, especially in the past ten years. Nevertheless, this development should not be ignored. "Neo-Nazis were able to operate there largely undisturbed," said König-Preuss after the verdict was announced.