Hans-Georg Maassen, chief of Germany’s domestic security agency, has said footage of right-wing protestors intimidating migrants in the Saxony city of Chemnitz is authentic, according to two German newspapers.
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that Maassen has written to German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer explaining that his comments, made in an interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper, were misunderstood, clarifying that the video footage is indeed genuine.
He meant to say that he doubted if the video actually showed migrants being chased by protestors, according to the aforementioned newspapers.
Mr. Maassen triggered a barrage of condemnation last week after he claimed that the footage could be fake, describing it as potentially “deliberate misinformation”, with some lawmakers and senior politicians calling on him to resign from his post.
On Monday, Seehofer noted that Maassen had indicated the video could be fake, saying he “must have reasons” for his assessment.
Saxony’s president, a conservative ally of Merkel, downplayed reports of violence, though authorities have confirmed police arrested a number of protestors for displaying prohibited banners and performing the Nazi salute.
Police also said there hasn’t been “serious violence” during the ongoing Chemnitz protests, which were triggered by the death of a German man and the subsequent arrest of two Afghans, sparking new debate over Merkel's "open-door" migration policy.