A Santa Claus was removed from a German Christmas Market in handcuffs after refusing to provide personal identification to the police. The man dressed as Santa Claus was reportedly not an actor hired for the Christmas market but instead was there to participate in a protest against Germany’s COVID restrictions, which is classified as a “non-approved gathering”. An unregistered gathering is now a criminal offense in Germany under the Assembly Act.

“The 47-year-old from Stralsund was obviously an actor in the gathering,” local police posted on social media. “He was not used as Santa Claus at the Christmas market there.”

The police department’s post explained the arrest, saying, “At a non-registered meeting in #Stralsund a person in #Weihnachtsmann costume (Santa Claus) refused to give his personal details yesterday.” (translated via Google Translate)

Video was taken of the arrest and posted to social media as well:

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In Germany, COVID restrictions have become extreme. Unvaccinated individuals are not allowed to access public spaces such as supermarkets and pharmacies unless they have just recently recovered from COVID. Additionally, unvaccinated people are only allowed to interact with two people from different households.

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