High court upholds incitement clause used against neo-Nazis

High court upholds incitement clause used against neo-Nazis
NPD memorial march in Wunsiedel earlier this month. Photo: DPA
A ruling issued by Germany's Constitutional Court on Tuesday could support future bans on rallies and demonstrations by right-wing extremists intending to glorify the Nazi dictatorship.

The decision by the high court in Karlsruhe upholds an anti-incitement clause in the German penal code, deeming it constitutional and thus consistent with Germany’s Basic Law and provisions on freedom of opinion.

According to Paragraph 130 Section 4 of the penal code, “whoever publicly or in a meeting approves, glorifies or justifies acts of violence or arbitrary acts committed under the rule of National Socialism in a manner capable of disturbing the public peace by injuring the honour of the victims” is subject to a fine or jail term of up to three years.

The court’s decision to uphold the criminal code on incitement, in effect since April 2005, supports a previous ruling to ban neo-Nazi marches commemorating Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party deputy.

The ruling also serves as a rejection of a constitutional complaint from October 29 lodged by the late neo-Nazi organiser and National Democratic Party deputy chairman Jürgen Rieger.

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