Europe

Germany Puts COVID-19 Dissident Movement Under Surveillance, Reports Suggest

BERLIN (Sputnik) – Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution has put COVID-19 dissident movements, including the well-known Querdenken group, under surveillance, Der Spiegel reported on Wednesday.

According to the magazine, the counterintelligence agency sees the movement’s activity as “hostile to democracy and/or dangerous for the state’s security.” The surveillance will involve collecting information, keeping an eye on their meetings and intercepting e-mail letters.

Regional counterintelligence offices have put COVID-19 dissidents on surveillance before.

The federal office mentioned that the movements against COVID-19 restrictions used the ideas of US right-wing QAnon conspiracy theory and the ideology of nationalistic Reichsburger movement that rejects the legitimacy of the modern German state.

The Querdenken movement initially emerged in the German city of Stuttgart, where its supporters massively protested against COVID-19 restrictions, deeming them a constitutional violation, even though the constitutional court recognized the measures legal.

Since August, the movement has carried out multiple demonstrations in Berlin, including near the Bundestag, clashing with the police over non-compliance with COVID-19 restrictions and ban on mass events.

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