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Attacks: Buschmann: Criminal law does not stop violence against politicians

Attacks: Buschmann: Criminal law does not stop violence against politicians

A series of attacks on politicians calls on the federal and state interior ministers. Does criminal law need to be tightened? The Federal Minister of Justice is skeptical.

Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann is convinced that the increasing aggression against politicians cannot be curbed with harsher punishments. “The attempt to solve the social problem of a general brutalization of political debate with criminal law alone will fail,” said the FDP politician to the German Press Agency. He is nevertheless prepared to look at proposals from the federal states regarding criminal law.

The federal and state interior ministers met for a video conference on Tuesday after the brutal attack on the Saxon SPD leading candidate for the European elections, Matthias Ecke. In a joint resolution, the Conference of Interior Ministers asked the justice ministers to examine as soon as possible whether “the specific injustice that can be seen in the democracy-threatening circumstance of such attacks” is already sufficiently reflected in criminal law.

It should also be examined whether “the deliberate spread of disinformation with the aim of influencing elections or escalating violence constitutes injustice worthy of punishment.”

New criminal offense “political stalking”?

Recently, attacks on politicians have increased. Last Friday, Ecke was beaten to the point of hospital while posting posters in Dresden. On Tuesday, a man hit and slightly injured Berlin’s Economics Senator Franziska Giffey (SPD) with a bag containing a hard object. The Green Party’s top candidate for the city council, Yvonne Mosler, was jostled and threatened while hanging up election posters in Dresden. According to police, two AfD members of the state parliament were verbally and physically attacked in Stuttgart on Wednesday by suspected opponents of the party.

Saxony wants to introduce a draft law to the Bundesrat that would create a new criminal offense. Accordingly, influencing officials and elected officials through so-called political stalking should be punished. This involves threatening situations such as aggressive demonstrations in front of a mayor’s home.

The wording of the proposals from Saxony was not yet available to him, said Buschmann. In principle, criminal law must meet special requirements. “That means we can’t use imprecise wording that might then criminalize legitimate behavior.” Freedom of assembly is also a valuable asset. Citizens are also allowed to express criticism towards a politician together. “You have to differentiate this precisely from a threatening situation that is no longer acceptable,” emphasized the Justice Minister.

Source: Stern

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