Blog: Böhmermann case shows it’s never too early to repeal bad laws Dormant laws that threaten free expression on their face can always be revivedA composite picture made of file pictures shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a press conference in Bucharest, Romania, 01 April 2015 (L) and German comedian and television host Jan Boehmermann posing in Berlin, Germany, 22 February 2012 (R). EPA/Robert Ghement
By: IPI Director of Press Freedom Programmes Scott Griffen
German politicians of all stripes are suddenly calling for the abolition of a seldom-used provision in Germany’s Criminal Code that punishes insulting foreign heads of state with up to five years in prison.
That’s welcome news for press freedom and freedom of expression. The provision in question, Art. 103, is a relic of the outdated concept of lèse-majesté, as an MP from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing Christian Democratic Union, Karl-Georg Wellmann, put it yesterday.
What’s worrisome, though, is that it took the very real threat of prosecution – Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdoğan’s request to punish television satirist Jan Böhmermann over a boundary-pushing poem – to get us to this point.
Read the full article on IPI’s main web page.