Thursday, April 14, 2016

Turkey demands that Germany prosecute a comedian for speech within its own borders


The Washington Post has a major editorial “Will Germany defend free expression?  Turkey’s leader tries to export repression by demanding Berlin prosecute a comedian”.   The online version inserts “Ms. Merkel” into the title.

The case concerns a March 31 show by comedian Jan Bohmermann, where he makes fun of Turkey’s president Erdgogan.  “Abusive criticism” of a foreign leader is now allowed under German law, although satire is.

Turkey is supposed to be a moderate Islamic country and friend of the US.  But Erdgoan’s behavior, jailing journalists, seems hard to get.  And it is a dangerous precedent if a non-western less democratic country can blackmail a western country to prosecute one of it’s citizens for speech within the western country.  What about SNL? The case even loops back to returning Syrian refugees.

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