Right-wing police chats: schleswig-holstein plans tough penalties

There are said to have been hundreds of messages that were Osnabruck police officers sent. Images glorifying Hitler and the Nazi era. According to the judiciary, anti-association symbols can be seen, xenophobic statements are dropped.

Again and again Police chat groups especially in the messenger service WhatsApp headlines. It has been known for a few days: Authorities in Hesse are investigating 20 police officers, including special forces. They, too, are said to have spread inciting contents. Police officers may not perform their duties until further notice.

But the case in Osnabruck shows that women often threaten the Policemen and policewomen Although service procedures – but a criminal prosecution is difficult. There is a gap in law enforcement, according to domestic policy makers.

Minister of the Interior: Gaps in prosecution for incitement of the people

Because under current law, for example, in the case of the Incitement of the people the "public peace" is disturbed by the inflammatory utterance. This public is not given in many cases according to court decision, since the chat groups are evaluated as "private" and a "public" is missing accordingly.

Thus also the Osnabruck Public prosecutor's office The case against the police officers discontinued. The reason given by the public prosecutor's office was that there was no "public use or dissemination of the files" that had been.

Now Schleswig-Holstein's interior minister Sabine Sutterlin-Waack an initiative. The CDU politician wants to target police chats with right-wing extremist or racist content more strongly.

Inciting content and the display of symbols of unlawful organizations within closed chat groups, such as at the Messenger service WhatsAppare to be punished in the future, "if the relevant content is used by officers in connection with the performance of duty," it says in the draft resolution for the conference of interior ministers taking place this week, which is available to our editorial office.

NRW also wants to take tougher action against racism in police departments

Officers of all kinds – not only policemen and policewomen – are thus "for general preventive reasons" more responsible for criminal prosecution with regard to incitement to hatred, for example. At the IMK, the Schleswig-Holstein state government wants to promote a new criminal offense: "Use" inciting contents and signs of organizations contrary to public policy in connection with the performance of official duties".

A similar advance had already North Rhine-Westphalia's Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) made. When asked, Schleswig-Holstein's Interior Minister Sabine Sutterlin-Waack (CDU) said: "We not only morally condemn anti-democratic statements in chat groups, but they should also be made a punishable offence. We will not tolerate anti-democratic statements even in internal chat groups."

Interior minister wants to send a clear signal

Sutterlin-Waack said: "We owe this to the reputation of the many female and male employees who work day after day for our liberal values in an exemplary manner, and it is also important for the trust of the citizens in our rule of law absolutely necessary."

The Interior Minister emphasized: "I am convinced that the overwhelming majority of public service employees are convinced of our democratic basic order and acts accordingly," said the CDU politician.

"However, we had to make a clear statement in Schleswig-Holstein and other federal states have recently found that this does not apply to a few employees." Therefore, it is "of central importance to set a clear signal here," says the Interior Minister.

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