At least 3 journalists attacked at German anti-Islam rally

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At least 3 journalists attacked at German anti-Islam rally
Protesters attend a demonstration of the PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West), marking the first anniversary of the anti-Islam group in front of the Dresden Cathedral, or the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, in Dresden, eastern Germany, Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. A surge of migrants to Germany over the summer has fueled a revival of fortunes for the group â whose name stands for "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West" â with crowds to weekly rallies growing steadily. Germany's top security official said the domestic intelligence service was monitoring PEGIDA and called its leaders "hard far-right extremists." (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
In this Oct. 19, 2015 picture police officers run during a 'Pegida' march , the name stands for "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West" , and a counter-demonstration in the center of Dresden, Germany, Violence flared in the eastern city of Dresden after German anti-Islam group PEGIDA staged a rally to mark its first anniversary Monday. (Jan Woitas/dpa via AP)
Protestors hold a banner with manipulated images of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel and German President Joachim Gauck, from left to right, during a demonstration of the PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West), marking the first anniversary of the anti-Islam group in Dresden, eastern Germany, Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. The words at the banner read: ' Wanted because of hypocrisy.' A surge of migrants to Germany over the summer has fueled a revival of fortunes for the group â whose name stands for "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West" â with crowds to weekly rallies growing steadily. Germany's top security official said the domestic intelligence service was monitoring PEGIDA and called its leaders "hard far-right extremists." (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
Protestors attend a demonstration of the PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West), marking the first anniversary of the anti-Islam group in front of the Dresden Cathedral, or the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, in Dresden, eastern Germany, Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. A surge of migrants to Germany over the summer has fueled a revival of fortunes for the group â whose name stands for "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West" â with crowds to weekly rallies growing steadily. Germany's top security official said the domestic intelligence service was monitoring PEGIDA and called its leaders "hard far-right extremists." (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 19 : German police officers intervene a protestor as supporters of the Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West) gather on the first anniversary of the anti-Islam group march on October 19, 2015 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Mehmet Kaman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 19 : Supporters of the Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West) gather on the first anniversary of the anti-Islam group march on October 19, 2015 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Mehmet Kaman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 19 : Supporters of the Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West) gather on the first anniversary of the anti-Islam group march on October 19, 2015 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Mehmet Kaman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Protestors attend a demonstration of the PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West), marking the first anniversary of the anti-Islam group in Dresden, eastern Germany, Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. A surge of migrants to Germany over the summer has fueled a revival of fortunes for the group â whose name stands for "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West" â with crowds to weekly rallies growing steadily. Germany's top security official said the domestic intelligence service was monitoring PEGIDA and called its leaders "hard far-right extremists." (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
Protestors hold a banner during a demonstration of the PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West), marking the first anniversary of the anti-Islam group in Dresden, eastern Germany, Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. The banner reads in German 'Money for our children and not for your asylum seekers'. A surge of migrants to Germany over the summer has fueled a revival of fortunes for the group â whose name stands for "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West" â with crowds to weekly rallies growing steadily. Germany's top security official said the domestic intelligence service was monitoring PEGIDA and called its leaders "hard far-right extremists." (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 19 : Supporters of the Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West) gather on the first anniversary of the anti-Islam group march on October 19, 2015 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Mehmet Kaman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 19 : Supporters of the Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West) gather on the first anniversary of the anti-Islam group march on October 19, 2015 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Mehmet Kaman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 19 : Supporters of the Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West) gather on the first anniversary of the anti-Islam group march on October 19, 2015 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Mehmet Kaman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 19 : Supporters of the Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West) gather on the first anniversary of the anti-Islam group march on October 19, 2015 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Mehmet Kaman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 12 : Thousands of Pegida (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West) supporters demonstrate on Theaterplatz square in Dresden, Germany on 12 October 2015. (Photo by Mehmet Kaman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 19 : Pegida co-founder Lutz Bachmann speaks at a demonstration as supporters of the Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West) gather on the first anniversary of the anti-Islam group march on October 19, 2015 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Mehmet Kaman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Protestors attend a demonstration of the PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West), marking the first anniversary of the anti-Islam group in front of the Dresden Cathedral, or the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, left, in Dresden, eastern Germany, Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. A surge of migrants to Germany over the summer has fueled a revival of fortunes for the group â whose name stands for "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West" â with crowds to weekly rallies growing steadily. Germany's top security official said the domestic intelligence service was monitoring PEGIDA and called its leaders "hard far-right extremists." (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
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BERLIN (AP) — The German Federation of Journalists union called on authorities Tuesday to prosecute those responsible for attacks on reporters at an anti-Islam rally in the eastern city of Dresden.

At least three journalists were assaulted by people taking part in the rally organized by the group calling itself Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA.

Participants at Monday's rally, which marked the group's first anniversary, chanted slogans denouncing immigrants, the government and journalists, including "Lying press, smash their faces!"

SEE ALSO: Biden says religious freedom is key to fighting extremism

Hendrik Zoerner, a spokesman for the German Federation of Journalists, said the union had observed a growing willingness among PEGIDA protesters to attack journalists over the past year, and a reluctance of bystanders to step in.

"Sadly, the authorities aren't doing enough either," Zoerner said. "We've repeatedly noted that police aren't acting against those who attack journalists."

He cited similar violent incidents at two previous PEGIDA rallies in the past month.

German broadcaster Deutsche Welle said one of its reporters, Jaafar Abdul Karim, was hit in the neck by protesters as he and two colleagues were trying to conduct interviews. The Berlin-based news agency Ruptly said one of its cameramen was attacked by neo-Nazis, who also broke his camera. Dresden police spokesman Thomas Geithner said a photographer also reported being attacked by four PEGIDA protesters and having his camera stolen.

Prosecutors said they were still waiting for police reports on the attacks, which also included clashes between PEGIDA protesters and counter-demonstrators. A spokesman for the Dresden prosecutors, Lorenz Haase, said a criminal complaint alleging incitement had been received about remarks made by PEGIDA speaker and author Akif Pirincci suggesting that refugees should be put in concentration camps.

"The atmosphere that is being created there is the problem," German Justice Minister Heiko Maas told public broadcaster ARD, calling the events in Dresden "deeply troubling."

PEGIDA representatives didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

More on PEGIDA:

German Anti-Immigrants Pegida Mark First Year of Existence with Dresden Rally

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Frank Jordans can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/wirereporter

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