Police in Berlin foiled a bomb threat outside the Russian Embassy earlier this month, where demonstrators were protesting the torture and murder of gay men in Chechnya.
A 24-year-old Moroccan man was arrested on April 8 in a refugee camp in Borsdorf, a small town about two hours from Berlin.
The demonstration, held later the same day, drew some 250 people gathered at the embassy in the central Mitte district. It was organized by the group Enough is Enough: Open Your Mouth.
“If we, as society, buckle before terror and fearmongering, then we have already lost,” organizers said. “If we, out of fear over this information, would have cancelled the demonstration, then fear would have won.”
The suspect may have been motivated by Russia’s support for Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, according to German newspaper Leipziger Volkszeitung (LVZ). It’s also believed he planned to use the rally as a cover, and hide among the protestors.
“At this time there are no indications that a possible attack was intended to be directed against the demonstration,” a representative from the Attorney’s Office told Gay Star News.
Police presence was heightened at the rally nonetheless, with officers conducting bag searches and other security measures. It’s against the law in Germany to cover or otherwise obscure your face during a demonstration.