Allegations of a “staged” incident arose after the release of video showing law enforcement officials detaining climate activist Greta Thunberg during an anti-energy protest at an abandoned town in western Germany.
The 20-year-old and her cohorts were protesting the planned demolition of the abandoned coal mining town Lutzerath, which is part of a larger effort to expand the region's coal mining operations.
The footage showed the police allowing the media to take pictures and film Thunberg before they removed her from the area.
According to a police spokesperson, Thunberg had been “stopped and carried” with her group out of the danger area to identify them. The spokesperson reiterated that there was no reason for her to be detained for days and that it could take hours or she could be released immediately.
Thunberg was eventually released and took to Twitter to express her thoughts.
“Climate protection is not a crime,” she tweeted.
The incident comes as Europe deals with an energy crisis sparked by Russia’s war in Ukraine, prompting Germany to expand its use of coal to levels higher than the past five years.
Additionally, France has had to extend “the lives of Germany’s nuclear power facilities” due to nuclear reactor outages.
In a speech several years ago, Thunberg had condemned adults, saying “how dare you!” as she complained about the world’s current state. “My message is that we’ll be watching you,” she said.
“People are suffering, people are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. Right here, right now, is where we draw the line the world is waking up, and change is coming whether you like it or not.”