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Germany clamp down on online hate crime

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has called for tough action on hate online, after police raids were carried out in all states on Thursday to curtail crime .

“We must stop the spiral of hatred and violence. The hate that is spread online is the breeding ground for violence,’’ she said.

Earlier, state and federal police carried out 130 searches and other measures to target people suspected of posting hate speech online.

Some 70 homes were searched and numerous suspects questioned, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) said in Wiesbaden.

Faeser explained that the authorities were taking tough action against Islamist and anti-Semitic hate speech that glorifies the terror of Hamas and denies Israel’s right to exist.

“We are acting just as decisively against right-wing extremist and anti-democratic hate postings, including vile death threats against public officials and elected representatives in our country,” she added.

“More than half of the hate postings processed could be attributed to the phenomenon of politically motivated crime – right-wing,” the BKA said earlier.

BKA officials said that around a third of the cases involved politically motivated offences that could not be clearly attributed to a political movement; some cases also involved imported ideologies and religious ideology.

The BKA added that criminal postings included incitement to hatred and propaganda offences such as the use of swastikas or other Nazi symbols.

They also included anti-Semitic statements relating to the Middle East conflict, such as the slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” the” BKA said.

BKA said that the slogan can be understood as a call for the destruction of Israel, expulsion and extermination of the Jewish population.

However, posts involving threats and insults to politicians, public officials and elected representatives were also tracked. “In some cases, the threats also include concrete execution scenarios,” the BKA added.

There has recently been a surge in violent attacks on politicians of all parties amid campaigning for the European Parliament elections, taking place on June 6 to 9.

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