The largest newspaper in Germany is calling for an end to a new federal hate speech law that prevents publication of "hate speech" and imposes fines of up to $60 million.
Germany already has a checkered past when it comes to the right to free speech and some would say the government is infringing on people's ability to have an opinion that disagrees with the government's.
A woman named <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/7455-88-Year-old-Holocaust-Denier-Ursula-Haverbeck-Sent-to-Prison">Ursula Haverbeck</a> has been jailed by the government multiple times for writing articles disputing the number killed in the holocaust.
The giant German newspaper, Bild, isn't standing for it and published an article condemning the new law. The headlines read, "Please spare us the thought police!" The article goes on to call the law, which went into effect Monday, a "sin" against free speech.
The newspaper points out that those who are speaking out against immigration are being targeted as "martyrs" of free speech and having their social media comments deleted.
Another problem with the law is it is very vague. Editor-in-Chief Julian Reichelt said the law doesn't even adequately define what "manifestly unlawful" content is.
Reichelt argues that the new law won't prevent "radical" groups from gaining prominence but rather it is having the opposite effect. The law seems to be very open-ended and seems just like a law a corrupt government would want to be able to bend and flex to target whoever they want.
Already, Alternative for Germany Party member Beatrix von Storch has been arrested for criticizing the police for tweeting in Arabic. She called out the government and the police saying the move was meant to "appease the barbaric, Muslim, rapist hordes of men."
The police say they criminally investigated Storch for "inciting hatred and violence" gaining him international exposure. On the other hand, those working for the government are praising the law such as Justice Minister Heiko Maas.
Maas said, "Calls to murder, threats, insults, and incitement of the masses or Auschwitz lies are not an expression of freedom of opinion but rather attacks on the freedom of opinion of others. Those who care about protecting freedom of opinion can't just look on as criminal incitement and threats inhibit the open exchange of views."
Germany has some of the toughest stances on defamation, incitement to commit crimes, and threats of violence.
It isn't hard to understand why when you consider recent history but where the country goes too far is handing out automatic prison sentences for anyone who is found to be a "Holocaust denier," or who criticizes the government for opening the floodgates to immigrants that include giant hordes of violent thugs and rapists.
Tips? Info? Send me a message!