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Germany: Trial of right-wing extremist Lutz Bachmann of Pegida begins

24.4.2016 10:43
Lutz Bachmann, the founder of the Pegida movement in Germany. (PHOTO:
Lutz Bachmann, the founder of the Pegida movement in Germany. (PHOTO:

On 20 April the trial of Lutz Bachmann, the leader of the "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West" (Pegida) movement, began in Dresden accompanied by an exceptional degree of interest from the media and the public. If convicted he faces up to five years in prison for inciting hatred against refugees.

As the trial opened, both Pegida sympathizers and opponents of the movement demonstrated in front of the courthouse. According to the state prosecutor, Bachmann committed the incitement of hatred in September 2014 by posting comments to Facebook calling refugees "dirty scum", "garbage" and "intrusive insects".

Should he be convicted, the minimum sentence he could receive would be three months in prison. Bachmann cannot avoid doing time by paying a fine because he has previously been given a suspended sentence for a different crime.

Bachmann's attorney called on the court to acquit her client. She said Bachmann had already apologized for his words when he spoke at a Pegida demonstration.

The court did not accede to the request. The trial should last until 10 May at a minimum.

The opening of the trial was accompanied by an exceptional level of interest from both the media and the public. Press accreditation passes ran out long before the trial began, 100 seats in the courtroom for the public were rapidly filled, and 50 people were unable to be admitted.

At the demonstration in front of the courthouse, the adherents of Pegida carried banners demanding their leader's release, while opponents shouted "Bachmann belongs behind bars." Bachmann has repeatedly made controversial posts to Facebook.

Last January a photograph was posted to the social network of Bachmann with a small mustache and made up to look like Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. He had to leave his leadership post at Pegida briefly because of that incident, but returned to it a month later. 

brf, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Extremism, Fascism, Immigration, Islamophobia, Neo-Nazism, Pegida, Trial, Xenophobia


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Italy's Lombardy Region first to conduct census of Roma and Sinti, plans to raze illegal camps, Romani organizations protesting

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In Italy the legislature of Lombardy in the north of the country has given the green light to a discriminatory, unconstitutional census of Romani and Sinti people living in that region. Italian media report that a regional commission has been entrusted with auditing legally-established Romani settlements and that illegal ones are to be closed.
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Jan Cibrik explains his collaboration with Czech city officials who are so harsh about impoverished Roma

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The crisis in the Czech town of Ústí nad Labem that broke out in connection with the closing of two residential hotels seems to have been smoothed over for now. Thanks to enormous efforts primarily by the Deputy Mayor of one of the centrally-located municipal departments, Karel Karika, most of the people living in the closing facility in that municipality managed to find new housing, while about 25 people from the other facility have been provided temporary shelter by the city in the gym of a school in the excluded Předlice neighborhood.
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Czech Police charge young woman over hateful online speech against first-graders

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The Czech daily Mladá fronta DNES reports that a young woman from the Tachov area has been charged in the case of the hateful, racist commentaries posted beneath a photograph of first-graders at a primary school in Teplice. If convicted she faces up to three years in prison.
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Každý diskutující musí dodržovat PRAVIDLA DISKUZE SERVERU Moderátoři serveru si vyhrazují právo bez předchozího upozornění skrýt nevhodné příspěvky z diskuse na Ty pak budou viditelné jen pro vás a vaše přátele na Facebooku. Při opakovaném porušení pravidel mohou moderátoři zablokovat zobrazování vašich příspěvků v diskusích na ostatním uživatelům.

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