Is blogging ‘terrorism’ in Cameron’s Britain?


This video says about itself:

UK Terrorism Law: Detention of David Miranda

25 August 2013

This video by Chaninat & Leeds law firm discusses the detainment of David Miranda at Heathrow airport under the UK Terrorism Act. It is inferred the reason for his detainment was due to his partner, Glenn Greenwald‘s reporting of the Edward Snowden situation.

The speaker is Anna Power, an experienced UK solicitor, and a journalist for Chaninat & Leeds, a Thailand law firm specializing in litigation in Thailand.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

UK definition of terrorism ‘could catch political journalists and bloggers

Terror law watchdog says police and prosecutors have exceptional powers that must be confined to ‘their proper purpose’

Alan Travis, home affairs editor

Tuesday 22 July 2014 08.39 BST

The current British definition of terrorism is so broadly drawn that it could even catch political journalists and bloggers who publish material that the authorities consider dangerous to public safety, said the official counter-terrorism watchdog.

David Anderson QC, the official reviewer of counter-terrorism laws, said Britain had some of the most extensive anti-terrorism laws in the western world, which gave police and prosecutors the powers they needed to tackle al-Qaida-inspired terrorists, rightwing extremists and dissident Northern Irish groups.

“But if these exceptional powers are to command public consent, it is important they need to be confined to their proper purpose, and recent years have seen a degree of ‘creep’ in parliament that could be reversed without diminishing their impact”

In his annual report to be published on Tuesday, Anderson is expected to give three examples of how the terror laws were too widely drawn.

They included “actions aimed at influencing governments”, hate crime and what he called the “penumbra of terrorism”.

On the first, Anderson said Britain’s laws treated politically motivated publication of material thought to endanger life or to create a serious risk to the health or safety of the public as a terrorist act if it was done for the purpose of influencing the government.

He said in other European and Commonwealth countries the bar was set much higher and there must also be an “intention to coerce or intimidate”.

The watchdog said: “This means political journalists and bloggers are subject to the full range of anti-terrorism powers if they threaten to publish, prepare to publish something that the authorities think may be dangerous to life, public health or public safety.”

He warned that they could be branded as terrorists even if they had no intention to spread fear or intimidate, and those who employed or supported them would also qualify as terrorists.

The definition was so broad it would even catch a campaigner who voiced religious objections to a vaccination campaign on the grounds that they were a danger to public health.

The laws were so widely drawn that they now included preparatory and ancillary offences including “terrorism-related activity”, which were only used when a crime had been committed and so were unnecessary.

These definitions were so “overbroad” that they could catch a family member “who supports someone who encourages someone else to prepare an act of terrorism and could easily be limited by the home secretary”, the watchdog said.

Anderson said Britain quite rightly had very tough counter-terror laws that the public accepted so long as they were used only when necessary.

“But they can currently be applied to journalists and bloggers, to criminals who have no concern other than their immediate victim, and to those who are connected with terrorism only at several removes,” he said.

“This is not a criticism of ministers, prosecutors or police – who as a rule exercise either their remarkably broad discretions with care and restraint. But it is time parliament reviewed the definition of terrorism to avoid the potential for abuse and to cement public support for special powers that are unfortunately likely to be needed for the foreseeable future.”

Rupert Murdoch media rummage through personal belongings of flight MH17 victim


This video from eastern Ukraine is called At Sky News, reporter Colin Brazier going through MH17 victims’ belongings.

From AFP news agency:

Sky News apologizes after reporter rummages through luggage of flight MH17 victim on air

Sunday, July 20, 2014 20:20 EDT

British broadcaster Sky News apologised after one of its presenters searched through luggage at the crash site of downed flight MH17 live on air on Sunday.

Sky News is part of the Rupert Murdoch empire, with a very long list of privacy violations: from a murdered schoolgirl to actors to bereaved military families to the British royal family; etc. etc.

In a news broadcast, presenter Colin Brazier was shown rooting through personal belongings in an opened suitcase at the site, picking up a set of keys before saying: “We shouldn’t really be doing this.”

The footage was greeted with anger on social media, including calls for Brazier to be sacked.

BBC presenter Jacqui Oatley tweeted that she was “astonished” while Joe Watson, a professor of Mass Media at Baker University described it as a “horrible moment for journalism”. …

The incident came as Australia called for respect for the bodies of the 298 who perished in the disaster, amid reports the crash site was being trampled and interfered with as investigators struggled to reach the site due to conflict.

See also here. And here. And here.

From Salon.com in the USA:

Brazier’s eagerness to jump into the personal effects of a victim recalls the worst of tabloid behavior – and for many in the UK, it no doubt calls to mind the ethical failures of the Murdoch empire, including hacking into the voicemails of a murder victim.

CNN somehow outdoes Colin Brazier in its MH17 coverage: here.

A Dutch TV journalist rummaged as well at MH17 disaster site: here.

Britain: A desire not to embarrass the Royal Family has emerged as a key reason why the Metropolitan Police failed thoroughly to investigate phone hacking at the News of the World in 2006: here.

The way the crash of flight MH17 in Ukraine is being politically exploited parallels the way the 9/11 terrorist attack in the US was utilized to pursue reactionary aims: here.

Football: Oligarch and Shakhtar Donetsk owner Rinat Akhmetov has threatened to fine a host of players who have failed to return to Ukraine amid fear for their safety due to the ongoing conflict in the capital: here.

Saudi, Bahraini Isis fighters in Iraq, Syria


This video says about itself:

Al Jazeera Journalist Explains Resignation over Syria and Bahrain Coverage

19 March 2012

Ali Hashem: Al Jazeera [with links to the regime of Qatar] has become a “media war machine” and is “committing journalistic suicide”.

From Gulf Daily News (Bahrain; pro-regime):

5,500 Gulf citizens fighting with ISIS

By Raji Unnikrishnan

Monday, July 14, 2014

ESTIMATES suggest up to 5,500 Gulf nationals are fighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to a UAE-based expert.

Around 4,000 of them are thought to be from Saudi Arabia, while the rest are believed to be from other GCC countries.

However, Dubai-based Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA) research and development director Dr Theodore Karasik said he expected those figures to grow in the coming months.

“Of the GCC states, Saudi Arabia has the highest amount of nationals in ISIS – perhaps up to 4,000 fighters,” he told the GDN yesterday.

“The rest of the GCC states have much lower numbers, between 1,000 and 1,500.

“Those numbers are likely to grow in the coming months given the announcement (by ISIS) of the Caliphate and successes on the ground.

“Young people, who are being termed ‘third generation Jihadis’, are willing to join this gang of religious fighters.” …

The GDN reported yesterday that Bahraini cleric Shaikh Turki Al Ban’ali had allegedly been photographed giving a sermon for ISIS supporters in Mosul, Iraq.

Dr Karasik claimed Al Ban’ali was actually serving in the ISIS “government” as a religious leader and mufti – a Muslim legal expert empowered to give rulings on religious matters – along with Saudi nationals Omar Al Qahtani (aka Abu Bakr) and Osman Al Nazeh Al Asiri.

He said the three clerics had previously been in Syria, where Sunni rebels are waging a bloody civil war against the Shi’ite government of President Bashar Al Assad.

Recruitment

“As Shariat leaders, these three are responsible for religious discourse as well as aspects of recruiting,” claimed Dr Karasik.

United States NSA role in censoring British daily Guardian


This video from Britain is called Revealed: the day the Guardian destroyed Snowden hard drives under watchful eye of GCHQ.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

NSA chief knew of Snowden file destruction by Guardian in UK

Revelation contrasts markedly with White House efforts to distance itself from UK government pressure to destroy disks

James Ball

Friday 11 July 2014 11.10 BST

General Keith Alexander, the then director of the NSA, was briefed that the Guardian was prepared to make a largely symbolic act of destroying documents from Edward Snowden last July, new documents reveal.

The revelation that Alexander and Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, were advised on the Guardian‘s destruction of several hard disks and laptops contrasts markedly with public White House statements that distanced the US from the decision.

White House and NSA emails obtained by Associated Press under freedom of information legislation demonstrate how pleased Alexander and his colleagues were with the developments. At times the correspondence takes a celebratory tone, with one official describing the anticipated destruction as “good news”.

On 20 July 2013, three Guardian editors destroyed all copies of the its Snowden material held in London (video), under the supervision of two GCHQ staff following a period of intense political pressure in the UK.

The decision to destroy the UK copies of the material was taken in a climate of advancing legal threats from Cabinet Office and intelligence officials. The Guardian and its publishing partners, which included the New York Times and the not-for-profit news organisation ProPublica, held other copies of the material in the US, and continued reporting revelations from the documents.

When the Guardian revealed it had destroyed several computers a month later in August, the White House spokesman Josh Earnest initially remarked it was hard to “evaluate the propriety of what they did based on incomplete knowledge of what happened” but said it would be hard to imagine the same events occurring in the US.

“That’s very difficult to imagine a scenario in which that would be appropriate,” he concluded.

However, heavily redacted email correspondence obtained by AP reporter Jack Gillum shows senior NSA officials celebrating the destruction of the material, even before it had occurred.

An email to Alexander from Rick Ledgett, now deputy director of the NSA, has the subject line “Guardian data being destroyed”, and is dated 19 July, a day before the destruction of the files. Most is heavily redacted, but Ledgett remarks: “Good news, at least on this front.”

A day later, hours after the material was destroyed, Alexander follows up with Ledgett, asking: “Can you confirm this actually occurred?”

Later that day, Clapper emails Alexander under the same subject line, saying: “Thanks Keith … appreciate the conversation today”.

The remainder of the emails are redacted, including the subject lines in many cases, meaning it is unclear who from the British government briefed the senior NSA and White House staff on the destruction, or whether US officials had any input to the decision to encourage destruction of journalistic material.

A spokeswoman for the Guardian said the revelation of the US-UK correspondence on the destruction was disappointing.

“We’re disappointed to learn that cross-Atlantic conversations were taking place at the very highest levels of government ahead of the bizarre destruction of journalistic material that took place in the Guardian‘s basement last July,” she said. “What’s perhaps most concerning is that the disclosure of these emails appears to contradict the White House’s comments about these events last year, when they questioned the appropriateness of the UK government’s intervention.”

The GCHQ declined to respond to AP’s requests for comment on the email exchange.

Also from the Guardian today:

The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control

At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US, says whistleblower William Binney – that’s a ‘totalitarian mentality’

Emails obtained by the Associated Press show that top US intelligence officials were well aware of the British government’s plans to destroy hard drives containing evidence of massive state spying against the world’s population that were held by the Guardian newspaper last year. The emails show that US officials not only knew of the plans to destroy the material provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden while doing nothing to stop them, but also encouraged and celebrated the police state activities of the British government: here.

Bahrain dictatorship news update


This May 2014 video is called Human Rights Watch Release on Bahrain‘s System of Injustice: Nazeeha Saeed.

By Annie Piotrowski in the USA:

The Freedom Chat Transcripts: Bahraini Journalist Nazeeha Saeed

July 8, 2014

The Freedom Chat is a new video series by Sampsonia Way featuring interviews with journalists and other media workers facing censorship and repression in their home countries. In these Q&A’s, conducted via video chat, journalists talk with Sampsonia Way about press freedom, anti-free speech legislation, and exile.

In the Freedom Chat Transcripts, we share the entire interview with our subjects, including material not included in the video.

An island nation in the Arabian Gulf, Bahrain experienced an outpouring of political unrest and protest during the Arab Spring in 2011. Yet, unlike Egypt, Tunisia, and others, the Bahraini monarchy’s human rights abuses, as well as the falling level of press freedom, have not been widely reported by Middle Eastern or international news outlets.

While the Bahraini government continues to react against the 2011 protests with strict censorship laws and state-controlled media, independent and civilian journalists work to provide objective reports at the risk of torture, imprisonment, and even death. In our latest Freedom Chat installment, we speak to one such journalist: 32 year-old Nazeeha Saeed, who in addition to working as an international correspondent, has challenged human rights abuses through the Bahraini legal system.

While covering Bahrain’s pro-democracy protests in 2011, Saeed was imprisoned and tortured in a local police station. After her release, she brought charges against her torturers and endured a two year trial only to find that the defendants would be acquitted of their crimes. Now, as the Bahraini correspondent for France 24 and Radio Monte Carlo Doualiya, she advocates for press freedom in the Middle East by continuing her work as an independent journalist, speaking out against human rights abuses, and using social media to report untold stories.

In this Freedom Chat, Sampsonia Way spoke to Saeed via Skype about the state of journalism and censorship in Bahrain and her struggle for justice.

What legal penalties exist for journalists in Bahrain?

Since Bahrain does not have specific laws governing journalism, journalists are tried under criminal law. This means they can face any kind of penalty: Fines, prison, and even death if they are accused of being a traitor.

Why do you think the situation in Bahrain has received so little media coverage?

The Arab press is less interested in Bahrain because there are bigger and bloodier scenes else-where in the Arab world: Iraq, Syria, Libya. In contrast, the Bahraini situation seems very peaceful, and both Arab and non-Arab international media ignore it.

A lot of Middle Eastern press is not independent and follows the political agenda of government leaders. We can call what is happening in Bahrain an “uprising,” but if the governments don’t support what’s happening, the media won’t cover it.

You are one of many Bahraini journalists who are active on Twitter. To what extent does the government censor social media?

The Ministry of Information has a special unit just to supervise social media that checks for criminal acts like insulting the king or any of the country’s icons.

Since 2011, using social media has become a call for all people, not just journalists. It’s a tool and window to write about things that the media doesn’t cover. If there were a protest here to-night, most media outlets wouldn’t be interested in it because protests are small and happen every day. Instead, social media is the place where people talk about these events and post pictures and videos.

You mention the crime of insulting the king. How has this been used against writers?

We have a new law which says that if you use any media tool, even social media, to insult the king, you can go to prison for one to seven years. In Bahrain, the royal family is a red line. If a corrupt minister is from the royal family, you can say that the ministry is corrupt, but not the minister himself.

In addition, the opposition‘s slogan is “Down with Hamid,” in reference to the Bahraini king. If you use this slogan at any time, you face the charge of insulting the king. Anyone who wants to overthrow the regime in favor of a republic or a constitutional monarchy risks this accusation.

Do censorship laws apply equally to professional journalists and civilian journalists?

Citizen journalists are more at risk because they don’t have a media outlet to defend them. Therefore, they are more frequently accused of insulting the king and trying to overthrow the regime.

How did the 2011 protests in Bahrain affect media censorship?

The uprising in Bahrain affected the media a lot. Even the media outlets which had improved from 2001 to 2011 went back to square one. They are once again biased towards the government and throw accusations at the opposition and the protesters.

We’ve lost neutrality in the local newspapers and media and news reports have become illogical. For example, there are reports that all of the protesters are backed by foreign countries.

In 2011 you were arrested and tortured. Can you tell me about the process of bringing your torturers to court?

I was one of hundreds of people who were tortured in that police station. It wasn’t just the mistake of one or two officers. At that time, torture was the Ministry of the Interior’s policy against anybody they thought opposed the government.

Bringing that case to court was unprecedented. Many international organizations supported me. However, after two years of going to court and facing my torturers again, there was no justice. In the end, they were acquitted.

Have other journalists pressed charges against their torturers?

No, they haven’t. I encouraged my colleagues to file a case against their torturers, but there were many difficulties. In my case, the media channel that I worked for supported me. My colleagues were working for local newspapers and TV, and nobody supported them.

They also don’t believe the system will help them because, in my case, the system didn’t grant justice. In addition, they didn’t know their torturers, since most of them were blindfolded. In my case, I was very aware of who they were.

To what extent do you consider yourself to be an activist as well as a journalist?

To be honest, I don’t consider myself an activist. I am a journalist who defends freedom of speech and press, who wants this country to have freedom of speech, media, and press. This will lead to democracy, freedom, justice, and other good things for Bahrain.

July 8, 2014 — When Bahrani reporter Nazeeha Saeed went to cover an anti-government protest May 22, 2011, in the capital city Manama, she anticipated seeing a resurgence in public resistance after military forces had shut down demonstrations two months earlier. Saeed did not expect to be summoned to a police station where she would be detained, interrogated and tortured for 13 hours about her reports on the uprisings: here.

Reporters Without Borders condemns the detention of the person the authorities say is the well-known satirical blogger Takrooz (@Takrooz). He has been held on charges of “inciting hatred against the regime” and “using expressions that incite sectarianism” ever since his arrest at Manama airport on his return from Thailand on 18 June: here.

British right-wing media’s pro-ISIS provocation


Hurray for the Blackshirts, Daily Mail 1934 fascist propaganda

The Daily Mail paper in Britain has a long history of far Right sympathies, as this 1934 article by its owner, Viscount Rothermere, in support of the Blackshirts of British nazi leader Sir Oswald Mosley, shows.

By Rory MacKinnon in Britain:

Daily Mail and Evening Standard in ‘entrapment’ scandal

7 July 2014

‘Islamist extremist’ web post traced back to right-wing rags’ Northcliffe House office

RIGHT-WING hacks were accused of “entrapment” yesterday after an online post by a supposed Islamist extremist was traced back to the headquarters of the Daily Mail and Evening Standard.

A forum post on British Muslim social forum Ummah.com urged others to “pledge allegiance to the caliphate.”

New user “abuaisha10” suggested that people “get out of this evil country and pledge our allegiance to the muslim sharia law and get out of evil west (sic).

“Who wants to join me so we can wage war and jihad against the corrupt west?” the post read.

But the call to arms drew only bemusement from forum regulars.

One traced the IP address back to a known hotbed of extremist rhetoric — the papers’ Northcliffe House HQ in London.

Hope Not Hate researcher Simon Cressy described the revelations as “very disturbing.”

He said: “If it has originated from the Daily Mail, it smacks of a honeypot, it smacks of entrapment.”

The Daily Mail Group did not respond to the Morning Star’s requests for comment, while an operator with Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorist hotline confirmed they would investigate the source.

“If someone is obviously trying to rally people together to commit violence, that would be an offence we would look into,” she said.

The inflammatory posting came as police continued to seek the killer of University of Essex student Nahid Al-Manea, who was brutally stabbed to death in June in what investigators believe to be a hate crime motivated by her conservative Islamic dress.

The Federation of Student Islamic Societies president Omar Ali said: “Islamophobic hate speech, be it barefaced or disguised as news or political commentary, is having a real impact on the lives and safety of Muslims in the UK.

“It is high time that those politicians, commentators and institutions that espouse pernicious narratives about Muslims and Islam take responsibility for the terrible consequences of their words,” he said.

The affair also follows a string of attacks on Britain’s Muslim communities since the killing of British soldier Lee Rigby last May.

In the days immediately after Mr Rigby’s death an English Defence League supporter was arrested for attempting to blow up a mosque in Braintree while holding worshippers at knifepoint.

In another attack two ex-soldiers were filmed lobbing firebombs at a Grimsby mosque while a young family was inside.

Four teens were arrested in connection with the torching of an Islamic boarding school in Chislehurst and three arrested over a similar attack on a mosque in Harlow.

In October a High Court judge sentenced Ukrainian national Pavlo Lapshyn to life behind bars for the racially-motivated murder of Birmingham pensioner Mohammed Saleem and a string of nail-bombings that terrorised worshippers in mosques across Walsall, Wolverhampton and Tipton.

SUSPICIONS, if confirmed, that a journalist located at the Daily Mail headquarters sought to stir up extremist sentiment for the sake of an inflammatory headline drag that paper to a new low: here.

Pro-peace views illegal in Germany?


This video is about a Japanese government politician, Taro Aso, who said Japan should follow Nazi Germany’s example to revive militarism.

By Christoph Dreier in Germany:

German politicians, media seek to criminalize opponents of war

30 June 2014

In recent months, President Joachim Gauck has been calling quite openly for a more robust German military presence in the world. This attempted revival of German militarism has been decisively rejected by a majority of the population. Politicians, the media and the public prosecution department are now organizing a campaign against opponents of war and preparing to launch criminal proceedings against them.

In line with this, the Facebook posting of a hitherto largely unknown Left Party politician has recently come under attack. Last Monday, 28-year-old Brandenburg state parliament deputy Norbert Müller referred to criticism of Gauck’s war policies made by a number of church pastors, and wrote on his Facebook page: “Some remain true [to their faith]. Others become federal presidents and obnoxious warmongers.”

The posting was seized upon by numerous media outlets and condemned for “defaming the president”. Such a denigration is a criminal offence in Germany, which—under Section 90 of the Criminal Code and on authorization of the federal president—can be punished with imprisonment for a term of between three months and five years. A spokesman for the Potsdam public prosecutor told Spiegel Online that the authorities were reviewing the case. On Wednesday, Gauck then sent word that he had not authorised the prosecutor to initiate proceedings.

On the same day, deputies of the Christian Democratic Union [CDU], Christian Social Union [CSU] and Social Democratic Party [SPD] tabled the Facebook posting as a topic for general debate in the Bundestag [federal parliament]. They also called on Left Party faction leader Gregor Gysi to state his position on the matter.

The faction leader of the SPD, Thomas Oppermann, called Müller’s remark an “incredibly abusive piece of criticism” and accused Gysi of being personally responsible. His “incredible blunder” arose from his “demagogic twisting of the president’s words”, according to Oppermann, and he concluded by associating the Left Party with the National Socialists. The SPD was taking Müller’s criticism seriously, “because that was the strategy the Nazis used against President Ebert in the Weimar Republic”, Oppermann said.

Gysi responded by distancing himself from Müller. Müller had “expressed himself incorrectly”, he said, and Gauck was not an “obnoxious warmonger”. “No party can be responsible for what every one of its members ever says,” Gysi declared. Left Party leader Bernd Riexinger also distanced himself from Müller, declaring that the current debate on war missions had to “be conducted completely objectively and with due respect for the dignity of the [president’s] office.”

The threats against Müller are instead being used to intimidate and criminalize all genuine opponents of war. It is an irrefutable fact that the president has for months been systematically promoting more vigorous international commitment on the part of Germany, explicitly including the use of military power.

Having calculated the probable media response, Gauck had expressed a similar view on the Day of German Unity in 2013 and at the Munich Security Conference at the beginning of the year. He declared in Munich that Germany was regarded internationally as a “shirker”, and it therefore had to be prepared to take more risks. Both speeches had been carefully prepared and coordinated with the federal government.

In the last 15 years, Germany has been involved in the wars against Serbia and Afghanistan, and it also provided the US with logistical support in the war against Iraq. The federal government co-sponsored the coup d’état in Ukraine, which was crucially supported by the brutality of the Svoboda and Right Sector fascists. Both the Serbian and Iraq wars were pursued without the legitimacy of the United Nations and were therefore in breach of international law, according to current legal norms. One would therefore have to ask whether Gauck, who is advocating more robust military engagement, is himself breaking the law.

The idea of exploiting the legal clause proscribing “defamation of the federal president”, in order to persecute opponents of war, continues established traditions in Germany.

The law of lèse majesté (insulting majesty) was used during the Wilhelmine Empire to intimidate opponents of rearmament. Between 1896 and 1907 alone, the Vorwärts social democratic newspaper documented 907 convictions under this law. A prominent example was the socialist and anti-war activist, Rosa Luxemburg, who was imprisoned in 1904 for accusing the emperor of incompetence.

After 1908, the clause on lèse majesté faded into the background. However, similar clauses relating to personal convictions were used to incarcerate pacifists and anti-war protesters. Shortly before the outbreak of World War I, Luxemburg was again imprisoned. This time she was charged with “incitement to disobey laws and ordinances of the authorities”. She had called for the exercise of conscientious objection.

With the revolution of 1918, the legislation limiting rights to contentious personal views was initially abolished. However, when Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau was assassinated by the far right in June 1922, the SPD, Independent Social Democratic Party [USPD], Catholic Centre Party and German People’s Party [DVP] passed the Law for the Defence of the Republic, which made denigration of the Republic, and its president, a punishable offence.

But this law was not applied against the extreme right. Instead, it was used as a political weapon against the Communist Party [KPD] and other left-wing groups. In 1924, two-thirds of convictions relating to the Law for the Defence of the Republic were handed out to Communists; in 1925 and 1926, all such convictions were. In 1925 alone, as many as 269 Communists were sentenced under this act.

When social contradictions intensified and rearmament was stepped up, the sentences meted out by the political justice system became even more savage. One well-known victim was the pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, who in 1931 was sentenced to 18 months in prison because he had written an article exposing the illegal rearmament of the Reichswehr [armed forces of the Weimar Republic]. Not long after his release, which came shortly before Hitler came to power, the Nazis threw Ossietzky into a concentration camp. He died as a result of the abuse he suffered there.

After the war, Section 90 of the Criminal Code, which makes “defamation of the federal president” a punishable offence, was adopted as one of the superseding clauses of the Law for the Defence of the Republic. Presidents Theodor Heuss and Heinrich Lübke used it primarily to combat critics who tried to expose their role in the Third Reich. In the last 20 years, the clause has hardly ever been used.

Whenever German imperialism returns to preparation for war, legislation limiting the right to personal political views also makes a return. The fact that the prosecution of opponents of war is being openly discussed in parliament and the media is a serious warning for the population.