21 February 2020

Source: Rasande Tyskar
Defend Solidarity, United against Racism and Fascism

Over the past years Europe experienced a series of crimes motivated by hatred against foreign nationals or persons of different religious believes. The attack against two shisha cafes in Hanau, Germany, is a sad addition to the list of crimes motivated by racism.

We call upon Germany to condemn all forms of crimes committed on counts of racism but also to ensure that those crimes cannot be committed in the future. Part of this process is to eradicate and ban all forms of hate speech. The issue area of hate speech has been problematic over the past years. Online forums and social media became a legal grey area that contributed to the spread of misinformation, hate and all forms of extremist ideologies.

Source: Rasande Tyskar

Furthermore, there has been a drastic change in the political landscape across Europe. Far-right parties are on the rise. We believe that those parties do not rise because there is a general rise in hatred among the European population but rather a dissatisfaction with established political parties. One of those parties is “Alternative für Deutschland” (Alternative for Germany, short AfD), a party often condemned and frowned upon by the “mainstream”-parties. Still those parties are elected based upon democratic principles and have a right to participate in the national decision-making process as long as they remain within the boundaries of national legislation and the constitution. However, members of parties such as the AfD openly commit the crime of “Volksverhetzung” (Hate Speech) and do not receive prosecution.

GICJ accumulated quotes of AfD politicians over the past few years that demonstrate how they spread hatred and racism (all quotes are translated to English from our editor without taking them out of context):

  • “I would not condemn a person that burns down a refugee shelter” – Marcel Grauf, AfD
  • “We should establish a SA (Sturmabteilung -> Hitler’s assault division) and clean up” – Andreas Geithe, AfD
  • “Burning refugee houses is not an act of aggression” – Sandro Hersel, AfD
  • The lowlife (referring to refugees) needs to be shot or beat back to Africa” – Dieter Görnert, AfD

Those are just few examples of increasing hate speech within Germany, and Europe. Thus, we urgently call upon Germany and the UN to prosecute all kinds of hate speech and exclude those people from participating in any political process. Still, the way forward is not built upon exclusion but rather on Dialogue, parties on the right side of the political spectrum have a right to participate in the decision-making process if they remain within legal boundaries and do not promote hate. Democracy means the rule of the people, which needs to be respected at all cost, it is time for established political parties to seek dialogue with those far-right, yet legally elected, parties and convince them that a society of hate and racism is not a society we want to live in.


Hate Speech, Justice, Humanrights, Geneva, Geneva4justice, GICJ, GenevaInternationalCentreForJustice

GICJ on Hate Speech: