Reporters Without Borders condemns last weekend’s arson attack on a German photojournalist’s car in Berlin, in which right-wing extremists are suspected. It was the second such attack this year on the journalist, who has been the target of neo-Nazi threats.
The car, which was parked outside his home, was found burning in the early hours of 27 December. The fire gutted the vehicle’s engine compartment. The car of a local politician involved in anti-neo-Nazi activities was also set on fire the same night. When the photographer, who has asked not to be identified, was the victim of a similar arson attack in April, a local politician with known links to anti-neo-Nazi groups was also the target of a similar attack at almost the same time. “It is intolerable that such acts, clearly designed to intimidate a journalist critical of neo-Nazi activities, should be able to take place repeatedly,” Reporters Without Borders Germany spokesperson Astrid Frohloff said. “Prosecutors and police should spare no effort to bring those behind these attacks to justice and prevent any recurrence.” Police said the Berlin Office of Criminal Investigation was investigating the possibility that last weekend’s attack was politically motivated. The photographer often covers right-wing demonstrations and is one of 18 photo-journalists whose names and photos appeared in a “wanted poster” that right-wing activists have been circulating since November, often accompanied by threatening comments and slogans such as “Lying press, shut up.” He said a well-known neo-Nazi took a photo of him in his car about two months before the first arson attack.