Extremism: Decision: Easier deportation after glorification of terror

Extremism: Decision: Easier deportation after glorification of terror
Extremism: Decision: Easier deportation after glorification of terror

The federal government wants to allow tougher action against foreigners who support terrorism. The reform is on shaky ground, says a specialist lawyer.

In future, the immigration authorities of the federal states will be able to expel people who support terrorist acts more easily and thus perhaps also deport them more quickly in individual cases. According to information from government circles, the federal cabinet approved a corresponding draft by Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD).

According to this, expulsion – i.e. the withdrawal of a residence permit – should be possible after approval of a single terrorist crime. On the question of what counts as the dissemination of content, the justification for the draft refers to a ruling by the Meiningen Regional Court, according to which this not only requires the creation of corresponding content, but also, for example, marking a post with a “like” on social networks such as YouTube, Instagram or Tiktok.

However, when asked about the cabinet decision, the Federal Minister of the Interior explained that it was “not about the small click and the brief like”, but rather about “the glorification and posting of truly disgusting, terrorist content”. The decision in criminal proceedings cited in the justification for the draft on the question of the dissemination of content must be distinguished from administrative court proceedings on possible deportations, her ministry added – “in this respect, it will depend on the case law of the administrative courts”.

The German government’s plan is a response to hate postings on the internet, for example after the attack by the Islamist Hamas on Israel or after the fatal knife attack during an anti-Islam event in Mannheim. An Afghan man killed a police officer at the end of May. The 25-year-old perpetrator had come to Germany as a teenager. He last had a residence permit because he has two children with a woman who is a German citizen.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) announced the tightening of the law in a government statement after the Mannheim attack. Faeser said: “We are taking tough action against Islamist and anti-Semitic hate crimes on the Internet.”

In order to bring the project into the parliamentary process as quickly as possible, the draft is to be attached as an amendment to a draft law to strengthen early public participation in planning and approval procedures, which has nothing to do with it in terms of content. The spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Maximilian Kall, pointed out that in principle, expulsions can be challenged in the administrative courts.

Migration law expert finds the plan questionable

The chairman of the Migration Law Working Group of the German Bar Association (DAV), Thomas Oberhäuser, believes that the draft now approved by the cabinet is not effective. “You have to develop a lot of legal imagination to define the act of putting a ‘like’ as distribution,” said the lawyer. It is also often not immediately clear to laypeople whether the content in a particular case is terrorist or not. This was recently shown, for example, by the case of the President of the Technical University of Berlin, Geraldine Rauch.

Rauch is being criticized for liking an anti-Semitic post on the X platform in the context of the Gaza war. It was a post with photos of demonstrators holding up a picture of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a swastika painted on it. Rauch apologized and explained that she had liked the post because of its text and had not looked more closely at the picture posted underneath.

According to Faeser’s draft, the German state will also be deemed to have a serious interest in deporting someone if someone condones and rewards certain crimes in a way that could disturb public peace. In this case, there would be no need to wait for a criminal conviction before deporting someone.

Left-wing politician sees authoritarian tendencies

“The fact that Interior Minister Faeser is now apparently planning to deport people because of a post on social media” is the current climax of a worrying development, says the Left Party’s legal policy spokeswoman in the Bundestag, Clara Bünger. When it comes to authoritarian states such as Turkey or Russia, German politicians are rightly outraged that people there could be persecuted or even imprisoned because of a “like” on social media – “but the Federal Republic itself has long been moving in this direction.”

Habeck: Islamism does not belong in Germany

Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, on the other hand, sees the plan as positive. “It is a great achievement and strength of our country that persecuted people can find protection in Germany.” But anyone who mocks the liberal basic order by cheering on terrorism and celebrating murder has forfeited their right to stay. Therefore, the right of residence is now being changed accordingly. “Islam belongs to Germany, Islamism does not,” added Habeck.

The deputy chairwoman of the Union parliamentary group, Andrea Lindholz (CSU), would have liked to see a more far-reaching reform. She said: “In view of the mass anti-Semitism and caliphate demonstrations on German streets, every anti-Semitic and anti-democratic crime must regularly lead to deportation.”

Attorney Oberhäuser said it was “completely insane” to believe that immigration authorities would be able to check “likes” on social media on a large scale in the future. It would be better if someone cheered on a terrorist act online to use this as an opportunity for a representative of the security authorities to talk to the foreigner “to determine whether he is dangerous.”

The federal chairman of the police union, Jochen Kopelke, welcomed the cabinet decision, which he described as a clear signal to terrorist sympathizers. He said, however, that the police and all other authorities must also be equipped in such a way that noticeable pressure to prosecute them can be built up.

Personal involvement must also be examined in individual cases, said Oberhäuser, for example if a Palestinian is afraid for the loss of his children or relatives living there due to the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip. Even if an expulsion is ordered for reasons of averting danger, it must be examined before a possible deportation whether there are possible grounds for toleration.

Source: Stern

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