Germany Repeals Law Prohibiting Criticism of Foreign Leaders

Germany has repealed a law allowing prosecution of those who criticize foreign leaders. It takes effect 1/1/2018.

The Washington Posts suggests it's just in time for Donald Trump.

In related news, the Netherlands is proposing to start a fund for international groups offering abortion counseling, to circumvent Trump's plan: [More...]

The Netherlands is seeking to set up an overseas abortion fund to counteract Donald Trumpís recent ban against funding international groups which give women information about terminations.

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen for the Dutch government has announced she intends to establish an international fund which would finance projects relating to access for birth control, abortion and womenís education, throughout developing countries.

The UK's Independent outlines six controversial things Trump has done this week.

My personal view: Donald Trump will never be feared, he'll just be hated. Around the world, and with good reason. His occupancy of the oval office will be the lowest point in American history for generations to come, if we survive at all.

< Mexico Reaffirms It Will Not Pay For Trump's Wall | Trump Immigration Plan Causes Fight, Roommate Loses Ear >
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    The Germans need to hurry up. (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Jan 26, 2017 at 09:23:33 AM EST

    The Dutch beat them to the punch.

    The first few seconds are in Dutch, but English after that. It's screaming funny.

    Not intentionally just in time for Trump (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by scribe on Fri Jan 27, 2017 at 01:10:14 PM EST
    Rather, this change in the law is in response to a scandal about a year ago.  

    A German satirist, Jan Boehmermann, presented a vicious rap/poem/song on a show he hosted on the ZDF network, attacking Turkish president Erdogan.  A synopsis of the scandal can be found here, Boehmermann's wiki entry.

    I was in Germany when the crap hit the fan over this satire.  It got ugly.  Boehmermann lost his show and had to go into hiding.  There were competing pro-Erdogan and anti-Erdogan demonstrations which had to be separated by cordons of riot police and horse-mounted cops.  (I had to navigate around one when it took up the streets outside my hotel.  Scary.  German police are quite nice and professional, until they are not.  Then, watch out.)  Erdogan briefly made threats to send more refugees into Germany and a whole bunch of other diplomatic tantrum stuff.

    Merkel pretty much had to turn this over for prosecution because of the state of the law in Germany then.  It was quite embarrassing to the German government because, not only were they forced to go against their tradition (tradition - not law:  No First Amedment there) of  "meinungsfreiheit"  (freedom of opinion/speech) but also because it threw a real monkey wrench into diplomatic efforts trying to address the massive refugee flow (thru Turkey into Europe) and also the government's efforts to tamp down the resurgent right-wing anti-immigrant populism of PEGIDA, AfD and also the neo-Nazis.  That right-wing populism, in turn, had really been agitated by a New Years' Eve ('14-'15) incident in Cologne where bands of Middle Eastern refugee men had surrounded and groped (to put it politely) any woman they could find, only to allegedly proclaim to police things like "Mrs. Merkel invited us here so you can't arrest us." and such.  That whole incident, the police initially tried to cover up by not reporting it at all.  Which, of course, just made it worse when it came out.

    So, Boehmermann threw a bundle of burning road flares into an overturned gasoline tanker, so to speak.  He was fired, has to be in hiding (I believe Erdogan put a price on his head though that was never actually reported), and was facing criminal prosecution.

    Before Christmas the prosecutors decided there would be no prosecution.  This change in law could then come about.

    Just in time for Trump?  No - just coincidental timing.

    I'm always glad to see foreign countries take (none / 0) (#1)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 26, 2017 at 08:58:29 AM EST
    steps towards increasing freedom of speech.

    Germany has repealed a law allowing prosecution of those who criticize foreign leaders. It takes effect 1/1/2018.

    Meanwhile, Trump says ... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 26, 2017 at 10:47:48 AM EST
    ... the First Amendment provides too much protection for free speech.

    Trump explains why the First Amendment has `too much protection' for free speech.


    Bannon (none / 0) (#4)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 26, 2017 at 04:51:20 PM EST
    Says the media should Keep its mouth shut

    Starting (none / 0) (#5)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jan 26, 2017 at 05:17:44 PM EST
    to miss the Bush Administration where the outrages only came on a roughly monthly basis, with the usual dance of revelation and denial.

    Now it seems hourly, straight from the horse's mouth, honestly telling you that they will lie if they want to, and STFU if you don't like it. I wish I was exaggerating.


    And Trump supporters say all (none / 0) (#7)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 27, 2017 at 02:06:05 PM EST
    visitors to the U.S should keep their political opinions to themselves, or face the consequences.