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TV presenter allowed to call AfD leader 'Nazi slut', court rules

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TV presenter allowed to call AfD leader 'Nazi slut', court rules
Alice Weidel. Photo: DPA
15:10 CEST+02:00
When a TV comedian called Alternative for Germany (AfD) leader Alice Weidel a 'Nazi slut' on air, she decided to take legal action. But a Hamburg court ruled on Wednesday that it was all in the name of satire.

In his Extra 3 programme from April 27th, comedian Christian Ehring was discussing the AfD party conference and a remark from Weidel in which she said that political correctness belonged in the dustbin of history.

“Alright then, political correctness is over - let's all be incorrect to each other. The Nazi slut is right there,” Ehring said.

Weidel, Spitzenkandidatin (lead candidate) for the AfD in the upcoming national elections, took legal action, saying that the remarks were defamatory and that they put her in danger.

The court ruling published on Wednesday pointed out that satirical exaggeration is protected by German laws on freedom of speech. It added that, as a public figure, she had to accept being the target of exaggerated satire.

The court concluded that the phrase was clearly to be understood as a joke about Weidel's reference to political correctness.

The word Nazi pertained to the fact that “within large sections of the public, the AfD is viewed as right-wing or even far right-wing,” the court explained. Meanwhile the court said the word slut has a sexual connotation, but it is clear to the viewer “that the description was used because the complainant is a woman, and that the comment in no way is truthful.”

Weidel has already announced the she will appeal the decision.

“This ruling shows how far you can go under the cover of satire in Germany. That such aggressive defamation also poses a threat to Ms Weidel's safety doesn't seem to bother the court,” said AfD spokesman Christian Lüth.

In March 2016, Extra 3 ignited a months-long dispute between Germany and Turkey when it aired a song making fun of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Turkish President appealed to Germany to ban the song, leading another comic, Jan Böhmermann, to air a poem on his show which accused Erdogan of bestiality.

Erdogan took legal action against Böhmermann, but failed in his attempt to have him prosecuted under an archaic German law that bans insulting a foreign head of state. In that case also, the court said that satire was covered by freedom of speech.

SEE ALSO: 'Merkel is insane': meet the woman leading the AfD into the elections

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