On Saturday, 13 journalists were arrested while covering a protest by environmentalists against the construction of a motorway in the German capital.

Journalists reported the morning blockade of the construction of the A100 motorway by activists from the Sand im Getriebe (Sand in the gearbox) group. “They entered the construction site with activists, so we treated them as protest participants,” explained police spokesman Martin Hallwig. He added that an investigation was underway into the break-in of the construction site by Autobahn GmbH.

Jörg Reichelt, head of the DGU journalists’ union in Berlin and Brandenburg, accused the police of preventing reporters from doing their work. Richelt was one of the detained journalists facing charges of unlawful trespassing on a construction site.

About 300 people participated in the demonstration. The spokesperson said that police initially took several protesters off the construction site, and then the rest of the protesters agreed to subject them to photo IDs as a condition of being allowed to leave the construction site.

Environmental organizations say the construction of new highways in Berlin and other parts of Germany is undermining efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Environmentalists believe that billions of euros spent on roads could be spent on climate-friendly transport infrastructure, such as railways.

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