More than 7,000 protest in Hanover against right-wing rally

More than 7,000 people took to the streets in a show of support for press freedom in Hanover on Saturday as a right-wing rally was being held against critical journalists.

Stephan Weil, the state premier of Lower Saxony, also attended the gathering in favour of the press freedom.

The counterdemonstration was called in response to a rally organized by the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), a fringe party that is widely seen as a neo-Nazi grouping.

The NPD rally was attended by 120 people, the police tweeted.

Lower Saxony’s Interior Minister Boris Pistorius and Hanover’s new mayor, Belit Onay, also planned to speak at the counterdemonstration.

Hanover’s police department initially banned the NPD event, stating that it would threaten public order.

The NPD appealed and the ban was repealed after Lower Saxony’s administrative court and, in a second instance, the state’s higher administrative court, found a total ban to be disproportionate.

The counter demonstration went peacefully, according to the police, who tweeted that several demonstrators had tried to break through the barriers to the NPD march, but they were prevented from doing so. Four people were arrested.

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