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Report: Police intercept media conversations by climate activists

Report: Police intercept media conversations by climate activists

According to a report in the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, Bavarian investigative authorities have been wiretapping several phone conversations between climate activists and journalists for months. The newspaper, citing internal documents, said the “Last Generation” group was affected. The wiretapping instructions came from the Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The police intercepted conversations with members of the press

In Bavaria, members of the last generation are being investigated on suspicion of forming a “criminal organization”. A landline with the Berlin area code, which the last generation claims is its official press phone, has been affected by the surveillance.

When journalists called there, the conversations had been overheard unnoticed by the Bavarian State Criminal Police Office since October 2022. “The contact receives almost exclusively inquiries,” SZ quotes from the police memo to the prosecutor’s office about the results of the first two months of the wiretap. From media representatives, students and schoolchildren requesting press information or an interview. After that, monitoring continued.

It appears that the wiretapping procedures were based on decisions of the Munich District Court

In addition, according to “SZ” research, the authorities have also monitored other phones, including the mobile phones of some prominent figures of the last generation. Their spokeswoman is named Carla Henrichs. An investigative note dated November 7, 2022 states that Hinrichs had “several existing inquiries of ‘Spiegel’ on that day.

The wiretapping procedures were based on decisions of the Munich District Court. As “SZ” writes, listening to conversations with journalists is not strictly prohibited, but there are significant legal obstacles. Investigative authorities will always have to carefully weigh press freedom and the interests of criminal prosecution. It is doubtful whether this happened here. In the decisions of the Munich District Court, the problem of freedom of the press is not touched upon at all.

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