German police in Bavaria arrested two men Friday after they said far-right vigilante groups attempted to patrol Poland’s borders to prevent refugees crossing the border.
According to police spokesman Stephan Bierl, the vigilante group of about 40 members — many armed with clubs and clubs with wooden bats or metal rods — said they were sent by the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA, and were aware that they would be under surveillance.
“They said they would stay peacefully near the Polish border,” Bierl said. “During a short span of time, around 12 to 13 people entered from a small distance.”
Bierl said they were acting together with two other groups, which he described as “criminals who will break the law.”
However, PEGIDA denied that there were vigilantes on the ground, and said that police were trying to cover up the presence of police officers.
The PEGIDA leader, Lutz Bachmann, took to Twitter to denounce the arrests:
German authorities never let us into Poland. All our members found it is better to go for too long alone. This is typical, they don’t let us in Poland. — Lutz Bachmann (@LutzBachmann) November 2, 2018
Three members from the group, two German nationals and a Polish national, were charged and released on bail on Thursday, according to The Telegraph.
Read the full story at The Guardian.
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