AfD MP gagged for hate speech

AfD MP gagged for hate speech

A prominent Alternative for Germany (AfD) parliamentarian has been blocked from Twitter and Facebook after criticising the Cologne police for sending a New Year’s tweet in Arabic.

The AfD criticised censorship as a controversial social media law known as NetzDG went into effect on January 1 in an attempt to block online hate speech.

Germany’s hate-speech laws mean social-media firms face fines of up to €50 million if they do not remove “obviously illegal” hate speech and other posts within 24 hours of receiving a notification.

The Cologne police tweeted New Year’s greetings, including a link to information about celebrating safely in messages using German, English and other languages, including Arabic. Cologne two years ago saw numerous sexual assaults on New Year’s Eve in which most of the suspects were described as young men of North African and Arab origin.

For Berlin’s New Year’s Eve festivities on Sunday, a “women-only” zone was set up.

“What the hell is happening in this country? Why is an official police site tweeting in Arabic? Do you think it is to appease the barbaric, gang-raping hordes of Muslim men?” wrote Beatrix von Storch (pictured), the deputy leader of the AfD in the Bundestag. Her grandfather served as a finance minister under the Nazi regime.

The tweet was deleted after Twitter blocked her account, informing her she had violated hate speech rules. Her account was shut down for 12 hours. The Cologne police said that they had filed a criminal complaint against her for hate speech.

In June, she answered “yes” to a question on Facebook asking whether firearms should be used to repel women and children trying to cross Germany’s borders.

Von Storch later claimed her mouse had slipped.

She posted sarcastically once her account was reopened and said her Facebook account had been “censored” after similar hate-speech complaints.

“Facebook has also censored me. That is the end of the constitutional state,” she posted.

Von Storch posed with British MEP and former Ukip leader Nigel Farage when he launched the AfD’s German election campaign last September. Farage called Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to open Germany’s borders at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis the “worst decision by any leader in modern political history”.

Others might suggest examples from his native Britain, like former prime minister Tony Blair’s 2003 decision to invade Iraq or David Cameron’s 2016 Brexit referendum.


Beatrix von Storch. Picture credit: Wikimedia 


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