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Interior Ministry to probe ban of far-right NPD

The Local · 5 Aug 2011, 09:13

Published: 05 Aug 2011 09:13 GMT+02:00

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A fax to the state Interior Ministry of Saxony-Anhalt, seen by the Hamburger Abendsblatt daily, thanked the federal ministry for its efforts to open a working group and promised to take part.

The decision by Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich has come as a surprise to many, considering his long-term scepticism toward banning the extremist party after a 2003 attempt failed in the courts.

Following the mass killings in Norway by a far-right attacker, however, the movement has gained steam and Friedrich came under increasing pressure.

The current banning attempt seems to have wide support from the German population and many politicians, including the head of the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD).

But it will face opposition, not only from the NPD and its supporters, but from some constitutional scholars who worry it could set a bad precedent. There are also concerns that the government’s long-term practice of having informants in the party could make the courts sceptical about the banning, as they were last time.

As of last week, there was not a political majority supporting the idea, although that could begin changing if Friedrich is seen as removing his opposition.

Hamburg Interior Senator Michael Neumann, who has played a key role in attempts to ban the NPD, termed Friedrich’s change of heart as a “breakthrough.”

Story continues below…

“In particular, I am glad that the minister has abandoned his opposition,” Neumann said.

The Local/DPA/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:13 August 5, 2011 by Johnne
Banning the NPD will go a long way and it is in the interest of the good people of this country. Of course Neo Nazis won´t vanish immediatley but it´ll make them illegal & potray them as real criminals that they are. These people take theadvantage of the respect for "human & constitutional rights" to carry out their acts of evil against ethnic minorities and immigrants. Banning them ´ll criminalize them and force them to go under..like that, they´ll know their truly unwanted and will be severly dealt with when caught with ilegal activities and violence. True Germans, friends and well wishers of Germany, Jews/German Jews, Black people, Asians, Latin Americans and all non white immigrants or coloured people of immigrant descent support the government on this ban.
13:16 August 5, 2011 by marimay
I do not believe in banning someones right to an opinion or belief no matter how crappy it is. It is not going to change them and they may even become even more of a threat. They will be punished (kinda, lol) if they are caught doing something illegal anyway.

Ban one thing why not start banning others? It is a potential snowball effect best avoided.
13:37 August 5, 2011 by bernie1927
I don't know if that is such a great idea. The enemy you know . . Free speech should be a right of any German citizen, and if they commit a crime they will be punished, but then, you don't have free speech in Germany anyway. You may open a Pandora's box. As unpleasant as these characters are, why don't you just ignore them?
14:02 August 5, 2011 by Johnne
@marimay & bernie1927

That is exactly what they use to strengthen themselves and their gangs. Like I mentioned earlier, respect for human & consitutional rights is working in their favour. If there are other reasons apart from their "rights" and freedom of speech, please let us know. They´re not of positive image or economic & social advantage for this country so what´s the point of allowing them go free in the name of "freedom" when it is the same freedom they are preaching against? they are violent, racist, and they stand for what Hitler stood for. They promote the ideology of the Nazis that were responsible for the Holocoust, and they´re still preaching the same evil. I don´t know if any of you are Jewish but I think the Jews are in the best position to say if they shouldn´t be banned or not.
14:20 August 5, 2011 by marimay
I still have to disagree, especially that jews are in the best position to make the decision. That is just silly.
14:42 August 5, 2011 by tueken
These people only bring nothing but hatred. Whats the point for them to have civil rights and other things.
14:59 August 5, 2011 by Johnne
@ marimay

Your argument sounds silly. Advocating for Neo nazi racist party? are you Jewish? why didn´t you clear if you´re Jewish or not with your unecessary "disagreement". you sound funny with your fake "rights" for NPD campaign. Most likey you´re not a native German, non jewish and proberbly not of ethnic minority so it´s easy for you to express that kind of provocative opinion of yours. I think many of you enjoy seeing this country tagged with negative image all the time. Like I mentioned earlier, true & patriotic Germans do not want the NPD existence so I´m not sure who you´re supporting?
15:15 August 5, 2011 by marimay
@ Johnne

Why would I need to clear if I am jewish or not? Are you the gestapo? lol

Who is advocating for the neo nazi racist party? Is that what you have twisted my posts into, cuckoo bird? I guess I can understand your paranoia better now.

I, for one, am not afraid of those right-winged loonies or fear that Germany is going back to the ways of hitler. I would be more afraid of allowing religious groups to determine bans.

Preserve your freedom of speech or lose it.
16:25 August 5, 2011 by storymann
All good comments, these people are not free loving liberals and should be monitored as I am sure they are. The point that bothers me is as stated above in a truly free democratic society you have the right to your opinion whether most people like it or not. It also gives some transparency to the group as opposed to going underground being sought after as criminals and making them more likely to commit criminal acts.

If the powers at hand vote to ban and criminalize this party then you can no longer say you live in a free and open society. Are people fearful that the NPD are going to make a resurgence here?
17:30 August 5, 2011 by Matt in Florida
Freedom is the best, give everyone a voice and let the chips fall where they may. Freedom means giving everyone a chance to exercise life, liberty, and pursuit of building a happy world for themself.
17:53 August 5, 2011 by DrStrangelove
Banning the NPD will not serve any useful purpose. It is just an expression of laziness, like the ban on holocaust denial.

The proper reaction to challenges from extremists is to use facts and clear reasoning to refute them, not bans and prison. Those should remain the tools of last resort, to be used against violent offenders only.

Rosa Luxemburg said it best: Freedom is always the freedom of dissenters. The NPD may be stupid and disgusting, but they are hardly alone in that.
18:05 August 5, 2011 by GeeAitch
Extremist parties have no chance. You can ban the Nazis and the Marxists but that will only make them pop up somewhere else.

Leave them alone and let them have their say. The public are not fools and will not vote them into power.

Either you believe in freedom or you don't. Banning this view or that is no way to create a more open society.
18:59 August 5, 2011 by Edgar The Peaceful
Following on from the theme raised by one person: Banning this or censoring that never ever achieved anything in the long term.
20:23 August 5, 2011 by neunElf
I think banning of groups I don't like or respect is a great idea, as long as I am the one who gets to determine which groups are bad.

The sheep amongst are gradually giving away their freedoms and won't realize it until its too late!
20:30 August 5, 2011 by WestUnite
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
10:49 August 7, 2011 by yourholiness
@ WestUnite

Looks like that collapse is coming sooner than most people expect. The immigration policy around here is only part of a package that is bringing disaster ever nearer. The only way forward now is to learn how to protect your family when things fall apart.
17:31 August 7, 2011 by Johnne

You sound very very stupid for that your comment. I asked you a question and you refuse to answer. Ok let me answer for you, you´re not a German & not Jewish. I wonder why immigrants like you in this country are coming from and you think you can speak for the Germans? We don´t want NPD period!


Will you mind your own business and go back to your country if you´re not satisfied with Germany? we don´t need people like you here cos you can only lose with your hate-racist anti immigrant comments. Learn this, immigrants are here to stay! as your ancestors migrated here and stayed- ok? remember?
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