New German Government Data on Persecution of Dissidents

New German Government Data on Persecution of Dissidents

Every year the German government proudly present numbers of its persecution of peaceful dissidents, which it lumps together with violent criminals as "enemies of the [German] constitution." Never mind that Germany doesn't even have a constitution...

Yesterday, the German government released the figures of government persecution for the year 2011 as printed in its Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungschutzbericht). According to this, 13,865 criminal investigations were launched in 2011 against individuals for either committing "propaganda offenses" (11,401 cases) or for saying or writing something that was deemed capable of "stirring up the people" (2,464 cases; see p. 28 of the new Report). That is a 1.5% increase of cases compared to the previous year (13,663 cases total in 2010). All of these offenses are grouped under "right-wing extremism." The lists of offenses committed by left-wing extremists or foreign extremists do not have that category, which basically means that only patriots, nationalists and the like can commit such "thought crimes" in Germany. After all, "right-wing," "Nazi," and "evil" are synonymous in Germany. The German penal law even implicitly states that only right-wingers can commit "thought crimes." This makes Germany the only country in the history of mankind where expressions of love for ones country has become illegal under many circumstances.

The chart to the right shows the development of the prosecution of "thought crimes" in Germany (blue area); left-wing (red) and foreign offenses (green) are only listed as "other offenses" in the above-mentioned Report, so it's not clear whether and to what degree these offenses include "thought crimes." The chart shows that the persecution of patriots and nationalists in Germany has become increasingly severe over the past 18 years and remains on a high level. Since 1994, almost a quarter million criminal investigations for "thought crimes" have been launched by the German authorities. It is not known how many of these investigations led to indictments and convictions, though.

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