After the dissolution of a controversial “Palestine Congress” in Berlin, the organizers’ spokesmen sharply criticized the police’s actions. Democratic rights have been undermined, it was said during a press conference on Saturday. Legal steps would also be examined.

The police broke up the event on Friday around two hours after it began. The up to 250 congress participants were asked to leave the hall early in the evening. The reason given by the assembly authority was a speech broadcast via video by a man who is banned from political activity in Germany because of hate speech against Israel and Jews. When the man spoke, the police and several officers intervened, cut the transmission and temporarily switched off the power.

Lawyer Nadija Samour said on behalf of the organizers that the police had made a completely disproportionate decision. Lesser measures were possible. Any attempt to protect the gathering was torpedoed by the police. There were no criminal statements, which the police also admitted.

The organizer was not aware of the ban on activities and had only been informed shortly beforehand. From the organizers’ point of view, the police action was illegal.

According to police, the organizers have announced a demonstration with 1,500 people against the ban on the congress for Saturday. The police will protect the meeting room accordingly, said a spokesman for the Berlin police on Saturday morning.