May 6, 2021

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Germany puts the COVID-19 dissident movement under surveillance, reports suggest

Germany puts the COVID-19 dissident movement under surveillance, reports suggest
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BERLIN (Sputnik) – The German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution has placed COVID-19 dissident movements, including the notorious Querdenken group, under surveillance, Der Spiegel reported Wednesday.

According to the magazine, the counter-intelligence agency sees the movement’s activity as “hostile to democracy and / or dangerous to the security of the state”. Surveillance will involve gathering information, tracking their meetings and intercepting e-mail letters.

Regional counter-intelligence offices have already placed COVID-19 dissidents under surveillance.

The federal office said movements against COVID-19 restrictions have used the ideas of the US right-wing QAnon conspiracy theory and the ideology of the nationalist 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 the restrictions of COVID-19, deeming it a constitutional violation, even though the constitutional court recognized the legal measures.

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