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Henrik Merker

Leipzig, Germany
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About Henrik
Henrik Merker is a journalist based in Leipzig, Germany. Specialized on political extremism, investigative journalism, fact checking and fixing.
Languages
German English French
Services
Investigative Journalism Fixing Journalism
+1
Skills
Politics Investigative Reporting Fact Checking
Portfolio

Halle an der Saale: No Penalties After Alleged Right-Wing Attack

22 Jul 2022  |  ZEIT ONLINE ze.tt
In Halle, Germany, four members of the Identitäre Bewegung were acquitted of charges related to a violent attack in 2019 due to insufficient evidence and potential self-defense claims. The trial, presided over by Judge Kathleen Aschmann, faced criticism for perceived bias and mishandling, with defense lawyers aggressively challenging the credibility of the victims. The case highlighted ongoing issues with right-wing extremism and the judicial system's response to such incidents.

Corona Protests in Saxony: Nasty and Dangerous

30 Dec 2021  |  ZEIT ONLINE ze.tt
Protests against COVID-19 policies in Germany, particularly in Saxony, have remained mostly peaceful but have raised significant concerns among security authorities. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution is monitoring around 600 Telegram channels used by anti-vaccine and COVID-19 denial groups, noting an increase in radical and violent rhetoric. The situation remains tense, especially with the potential introduction of a general vaccination mandate by the Bundestag early next year.

On the back of resounding paedophilia scandals, the German Catholic church is going through a revolution that is unprecedented in Europe. This revolution started in Cologne in Germany. job: fixer, second camera & translator

The discussion about the general vaccination obligation leads to an even stronger radicalization of the corona denier scene, which calls for violence, especially in chats on the messenger service Telegram. job: co-author, investigative research, camera

Nemi El-Hassan: 'Really stuffed into the throat'

22 Sep 2021  |  ZEIT ONLINE ze.tt
The WDR has suspended its collaboration with journalist and physician Nemi El-Hassan due to serious allegations of antisemitism and proximity to Islamism. El-Hassan will not host the science show Quarks until a thorough examination of the accusations is complete.

Berlin Police Cannot Recognize Real Press Pass

08 Oct 2020  |  uebermedien.de
In Berlin, political activists and right-wing media figures have been using fake press credentials to bypass police barriers at demonstrations. The article highlights instances where individuals like Matthäus Westfal and Nicolai Nerling, who have extremist affiliations, falsely claimed to be journalists. Despite the reintroduction of a standardized press pass in 2018, the Berlin police have struggled to differentiate between legitimate journalists and demonstrators. This has led to confrontations and the police's failure to recognize official press passes. Journalist associations and experts have repeatedly warned about the intimidation of journalists by right-wing activists. The article also discusses the challenges faced by journalists covering protests and the need for clear distinctions between journalists and activists.

Left-wing Violence: The Battle for Connewitz

01 Mar 2020  |  zeit.de
The ongoing conflict between radical leftists and the police in Leipzig can be symbolized by the fluctuating presence of a graffiti at Connewitz Kreuz, which alternated between displaying 'Antifa Area' and 'No Cops' and being painted over by city administration and police. This back-and-forth continued until sometime in 2019 when the graffiti remained untouched.

How the NPD Keeps the Dresden Victim Myth Alive

16 Feb 2020  |  Störungsmelder
A far-right NPD politician organized a march in Dresden to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the city's WWII bombing, aiming to perpetuate a victim myth. The event drew 1,200 right-wing extremists, including members of NPD, Die Rechte, Pegida, and unaffiliated neo-Nazis. Maik Müller, a key figure in the far-right scene, led the march, using the rebuilt Frauenkirche as a symbol of their narrative. The event faced significant opposition, with 2,000 counter-protesters and a separate commemoration led by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The article criticizes the far-right's historical revisionism and the controversial inclusion of Nazi perpetrators in a memorial ceremony.

Halle Attacker: He Planned His Acts Like Video Games

10 Oct 2019  |  ZEIT ONLINE ze.tt
Stephan B., the Halle attacker, failed in his attempt to breach the synagogue's doors and subsequently killed two people. Unlike typical right-wing extremists, he had no known connections to the scene and was not on security radars. He radicalized online, planning his actions like a video game, and was influenced by previous mass shooters like Anders Behring Breivik. Federal Prosecutor Peter Frank classified the act as terrorism driven by antisemitism and racism.

IS Returnees: What to Do with the Terror Helpers?

01 Feb 2019  |  ZEIT ONLINE ze.tt
Thousands of former IS members are detained in Kurdish camps in northern Syria, sparking a debate after US President Donald Trump urged European countries to repatriate and prosecute them. The situation is complex, with estimates of up to 1,100 IS fighters and 2,000 women and children held by Kurdish militias and the Syrian opposition, including around 120 Germans. European countries face legal and practical challenges in repatriating these individuals, with concerns about their potential threat and the lack of consular access. Some countries, like France and the UK, oppose repatriation, preferring local prosecution. Experts suggest deradicalization efforts in Europe, but emphasize the need for long-term strategies and social integration.

Data Theft: What We Know About the Data Leak and Its Originator

01 Jan 2019  |  ZEIT ONLINE
Personal data and documents from hundreds of German politicians, musicians, and journalists were leaked online. The leak targeted members of the Bundestag, particularly from the Green Party and CDU/CSU, and included private communications, financial documents, and personal photos. The Twitter account @_0rbit, linked to the leak, was suspended. The data, posted as an 'Advent calendar' in December 2018, may have been obtained through social engineering. Authorities are investigating, and there are calls for stronger cybersecurity measures and data protection laws.

Leipzig: They say they reject violence - actually

31 Aug 2018  |  ZEIT ONLINE
The article by Henrik Merker discusses various instances of right-wing extremism and political demonstrations in Leipzig and other parts of Germany. It highlights the presence of violence, the role of the police, and the involvement of right-wing groups such as the AfD, Identitarian Movement, and NPD. The text also touches upon the actions of individuals like Jan Wenzel Schmidt and the controversies surrounding public figures such as Nemi El-Hassan and Lisa Licentia. The sentiment towards these groups and individuals is generally neutral to negative, with a focus on the negative impact of right-wing extremism.
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