Last Saturday, myself and colleagues went to Greding, a small town in the Franken region of Bavaria, to cover a shadowy group within the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party called “der Fluegel”. The subgroup is already under preliminary monitoring by the German secret service due to right-radical connections and anti-democratic efforts.
During the course of our documentations of the various politicians and public figures attending, we were often insulted, approached, and harassed. At one point, we were approached by the right-radical Dubravko Mandic, who targeted me out of the entire group first, getting in my face and demanding I delete the photos. As a journalist, I refused and said so. During the course of his demands, he began spitting in my face while speaking. After becoming frustrated, he targeted a female colleague and stole her phone. We’re both in agreement that he targeted me due to my skin color and her due to being female. Basically, from my research, hatred of women and racism correlate strong. Police then broke the situation up, though Mandic filed false criminal complaints against us for the photography.
Later, another colleague was attacked by two members of der Fluegel which is displayed in a photo I took that aired on TV and is available online. This story also has other aspects as during the attacks, we all continued documentation.
The police are now investigating the situation and Mandic has at least one criminal complaint against him. The Bavarian Journalist Union is also heavily engaged with the situation, including having made mention during the Press Freedom Day Awards.
Article in Frankfurter Rundschau with statements from me and right-extremism expert Birgit Mair:
„Wir dürfen unsere Arbeit nicht unterbrechen, nur weil wir von Rechten angegriffen werden.“ – Sachelle Barbbar