Dresden, Germany (dpa) – German prosecutors launched an investigation Tuesday into a protester who carried a mock gallows with nooses for Chancellor Angela Merkel and her deputy at an anti-immigration rally in the eastern city of Dresden.
The wooden gallows model, from which hung nooses “reserved for” for Merkel and Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, was seen Monday by police at a weekly rally organized by Pegida, a German acronym for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West.
The wooden model could fulfill the criminal offense of disturbing the peace through the threat of crime and the public incitement to criminal activity, said Jan Hille, the public prosecutor in Dresden.
Hille said the builder of the gallows remains unknown.
As many as 9,000 people marched through Dresden as part of the Pegida rally, chanting slogans and waving anti-immigration placards, according to Durchgezaehlt, an organisation which estimates the size of public gatherings.
Germany officially expects around 800,000 asylum seekers this year, and the record waves of migrants streaming across its borders has led some to question Merkel’s decision last month to loosen asylum laws and allow in more refugees from war zones like Syria and Afghanistan.