German police launches probe after mock tombstone found at Merkel's poll office

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German police said on Saturday they have launched an investigation after a mock tombstone was found in front of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s electoral offices, apparently to decry measures aimed at halting transmission of the coronavirus.

The protest action came as thousands of demonstrators prepared to gather in major German cities including Stuttgart, Munich and Berlin against the stay-at-home measures.

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Red roses and candles were placed around the mock tombstone, which bore the inscription: “Freedom of the press, freedom of opinion, movement and assemblies -- Democracy 1990-2020,” police said in a statement.

A face mask was also tied to the stone placed at Merkel party’s CDU office in her electoral district of Stralsund, by the Baltic coast, according to police.
General secretary of Merkel’s CDU party, Paul Ziemiak, called it “an action of poor taste.”

A growing wave of demonstrations in Germany by conspiracy theorists, extremists and anti-vaxxers has alarmed Merkel and her government.

Initially starting as a handful of protesters decrying tough restrictions on public life to halt transmission of the coronavirus, the protests have swelled in recent weeks to gatherings of thousands in major German cities.

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