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Germany: Merkel seeks to replace law criminalising insulting foreign leaders00:40

Germany: Merkel seeks to replace law criminalising insulting foreign leaders

Germany, Berlin
April 15, 2016 at 05:00 GMT +00:00 · Published

German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that her government would aim to replace a current law which criminalises insulting foreign heads of state, after she had granted state prosecutors permission to prepare a case against German comedian Jan Boehmermann over his satirical poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"The outcome is that the German government will give authorisation in the current case concerning the comedian Jan Boehmermann," Merkel said in Berlin on Friday. "Moreover, I want to state that apart from this particular case, the German government will draft a proposal to replace the current paragraph 103 of the German penal code that criminalises insulting foreign heads of state, making it dispensable in the future."

Jan Boehmermann, host of Neo Magazin Royale, presented his satirical poem about the Turkish president on the public ZDF channel on March 31. The poem accuses Erdogan of repressing Turkey's national and religious minorities - Kurds and Christians, as well as referring to the Turkish leader as a 'goat fucker.'

The Turkish authorities reacted by sending a diplomatic note to the German Foreign Ministry, asking the German state to launch a criminal prosecution against the comedian. According to German law, insulting foreign heads of state or representatives is potentially a crime and punishable by up to three years in prison.

Germany: Merkel seeks to replace law criminalising insulting foreign leaders00:40
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that her government would aim to replace a current law which criminalises insulting foreign heads of state, after she had granted state prosecutors permission to prepare a case against German comedian Jan Boehmermann over his satirical poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"The outcome is that the German government will give authorisation in the current case concerning the comedian Jan Boehmermann," Merkel said in Berlin on Friday. "Moreover, I want to state that apart from this particular case, the German government will draft a proposal to replace the current paragraph 103 of the German penal code that criminalises insulting foreign heads of state, making it dispensable in the future."

Jan Boehmermann, host of Neo Magazin Royale, presented his satirical poem about the Turkish president on the public ZDF channel on March 31. The poem accuses Erdogan of repressing Turkey's national and religious minorities - Kurds and Christians, as well as referring to the Turkish leader as a 'goat fucker.'

The Turkish authorities reacted by sending a diplomatic note to the German Foreign Ministry, asking the German state to launch a criminal prosecution against the comedian. According to German law, insulting foreign heads of state or representatives is potentially a crime and punishable by up to three years in prison.

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