German court says ban on rallies in Heidenau 'illegal'
A German regional court on Friday ruled against a ban imposed by local authorities on public gatherings in the eastern town of Heidenau, which was hit by far-right protests against refugees, calling it "clearly illegal".
The regional authorities of Saxony had justified the ban claiming that public safety could not be guaranteed due to a shortage of police officers.
But the court ruled that was not a valid reason as "police forces from other states and from the federation could be made available".
"In addition, police have the resources, including water cannon, to prevent any disproportionate damage," the court said.
The ban on all outdoor public gatherings in Heidenau runs from Friday 2.00pm to Monday 6.00am.
The ban had meant that a party organised to welcome refugees later Friday as well as any planned rallies by the far-right would have to be scrapped.
© 2015 AFP