Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Ban on insulting world leaders could be axed immediately

Share this article

Ban on insulting world leaders could be axed immediately
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (l) and TV comic Jan Böhmermann (r). Photo:DPA
08:38 CEST+02:00
The battle over TV satirist Jan Böhmermann continues to divide Germany's governing coalition in Berlin, a newspaper report suggested on Thursday.

Chancellor Angela Merkel had announced last Friday that the law dating back to the 19th Century would be abolished by 2018 – and that satirist Jan Böhmermann could face prosecution under the law in the meantime.

It's not certain that Böhmermann will have a day in court, as prosecutors must first decide whether there is a case to answer for the “smear poem” he read out against Recep Tayyip Erdogan on public television.

But the Social Democratic Party (SPD) – the junior coalition partner to Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) – were unhappy with the Chancellor's decision.

Now SPD Justice Minister Heiko Maas plans to have a draft bill to abolish the law on "insulting a foreign heads of state" in front of MPs in the Bundestag (German parliament) within a week, the Rheinische Post reported on Thursday, citing government sources.

Many political commentators and two-thirds of the public were also against Merkel's choice to allow the prosecution to go ahead.

It was seen by many as a bid to appease Erdogan's anger and keep alive a controversial refugee exchange deal struck by the EU with Turkey.

SPD and Green party politicians in North Rhine-Westphalia and Hamburg had already announced on Wednesday that they would bring legal action to try and abolish the law sooner and block Böhmermann's prosecution.

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.
Become a Member or sign-in to leave a comment.

From our sponsors

Change the world with a master's degree from Sweden's Linköping University

Master's students at world-leading Linköping University (LiU) aren't there simply to study. They solve real-world problems alongside experts in fields that can create a better tomorrow. Do you have what it takes to join them?