April 20, 2016
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia is seeking an initiative to scrap the German lese majeste law faster than currently planned, the state’s justice minister, Thomas Kutschaty, told the German daily “Rheinische Post.” The law, which forbids defamation of foreign heads of state, is in the center of the widely publicized scandal surrounding comedian Jan Böhmermann and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan’s lawsuit against Böhmermann has sparked a fierce debate on freedom of speech in Germany, and put pressure on the federal government to change the law. According to Chancellor Angela Merkel, however, this would not happen before 2018.
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