Germany Detains 2 Administrators; Bans Far-Right Internet Platform on Suspicion of Inciting Racial Hatred
Jan 28, 2016 08:51 AM EST
The German government arrested 2 administrators and banned a far-right internet platform for inciting racial hatred on Wednesday. The prosecutors' office said that the Altermedia Deutshland website contained banned Nazi slogans, incitement of violence against foreigners and denial of the Holocaust. It was also accused of spreading homophobic and anti-Islamic content.
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that the ban on Altermedia proves that German law does not allow hate crime reports Business Standard. In keeping with Germany privacy rules, the two persons arrested were identified only as Jutta V. and Ralph Tomas K. They were arrested for founding a criminal organization and incitement. As administrators, they are responsible for Altermedia's content. Their three companions were not arrested.
The Altermedia server was located in Russia to prevent German authorities from gaining access reports Daily Mail. Germany has already requested Russia to shut down the server. The arrest came after raids were conducted in houses in four German federal states and the Spanish town of Lloret de Mar. German prosecutors have reason to believe that the internet platform was also being used to coordinate the activities of a criminal syndicate.
According to Daily Times, Altermedia originated as a blogging platform in France and was run by white supremacist David Duke. It was taken over by new and unknown organizers that has functioned as a platform for exchanging right-wing propaganda and anti-Semitic material that are similar to its left-wing counterparts' websites of anarchists
It is not the first time that the Altermedia website has come underfire. Its former administrator Alex Möller was fined 3,000 euros in March 2011. He and a Robert Rupprecht were sentenced to 30 and 27 months in prison respectively for violating Germany's hate speech laws a few months later.
German officials have credited the far-right as being savvy in using the social media and Internet to bring their propaganda to a broader audience. Meanwhile, Hans-Georg Maassen who is the head of Germany's domestic intelligence said that there now exists a danger of potential for violence because of a gray area developing among the far-right extremists, right-wing conservatives and citizen protesters.