German media have published pixelated or blacked-out images of the alleged young thugs who hospitalised a Jewish man at a pro-Israel rally and then fled the scene on e-scooters.
The publication without being able to see the faces of those wanted for the attack is because of bizarre privacy laws and data protection regulations that are among the toughest in Europe.
And in this case, the publication only happened because the local newspaper Bild went ahead with it, albeit pixelated and with the faces blacked out, as the police said they were still exploring other avenues before going public.
The regulations mean that naming of suspects before conviction is seen as an intrusion into their privacy and police will not name or issue pictures of people wanted on suspicion of carrying out crimes until all other avenues of enquiry have been exhausted.
On this occasion, the suspects were photographed by eyewitnesses, who handed the pictures to prosecutors and to local media.
However, after the police said that they would not be using them until all other opportunities had been exhausted, German newspaper Bild decided to publish them anyway, although either pixelated or with the faces blacked out.
The suspects are believed to have attacked a 60-year-old Jewish man identified only as Michael T., knocking him to the ground and breaking his nose at a pro-Israel march in Hamburg, Germany, last Saturday (18th September).
News site Bild reports that the group of youths made up of either three or four members approached Michael at a ‘Vigil for Israel – Against Anti-Semitism’ march shouting “f**k Israel”.
Michael confronted the group, at which point one of the young men believed to be between 18 and 25 years of age wearing a white t-shirt with ‘Paris’ written on it punched him to the ground.
Michael told Bild: “When I confronted them, one of the younger members of the group punched me directly in the face. I was covered in blood and fell to the ground.”
He added: “My mother helped me up while the perpetrators stood around laughing at me.”
The youths then jumped on rented e-scooters and fled the scene while the emergency services made their way to the victim.
The victim’s mother, who was not named, said: “He was lying on the ground bleeding from his face with bits of glass from his shattered glasses in his face. Something like this is the worst thing that can happen to a mother.”
Michael was taken to hospital and treated for serious injuries including a broken jaw, broken nose and a severely swollen eye socket, which could lead to retinal damage.
He told Bild: “When I got to the hospital, I realised my cheekbones and nose were broken. My eyes socket had cracked. I was terrified that I was going to lose my eye.”
He added: “The doctor said my retina could peel off.”
No further updates on the victim’s health have been made.
The investigation is ongoing.