Swiss police ban protest by German anti-Islam group PEGIDA

January 22, 2016 19:47

Police in Basel have banned the first anti-Islam demonstration by the German-based PEGIDA movement in Switzerland and a counter-rally by left-wing groups, they said on Friday, citing security concerns.

"The cantonal police of the city of Basel have decided to withdraw authorizations granted to the two demonstrations planned on Feb. 3 on the market square," a statement said.

It said the "expected participation of several groups prone to violence on both sides, from Switzerland and from abroad, led to this decision."

The Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA) movement originated in Germany, where thousands rally regularly in the eastern city of Dresden, raising fears about right-wing radicalization.

Riot police broke up a PEGIDA-organized march by far-right protesters in the German city of Cologne earlier this month as they demonstrated against Germany's migration policy after asylum seekers were identified as suspects in assaults on women on New Year's Eve.

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