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AFD Politician Fined €6,000 for criticizing uncontrolled migration from Afghanistan

Recently, a top politician from Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) was heavily fined after criticizing uncontrolled immigration from Afghanistan…

Background and Verdict

On May 6, 2024, the court in Verden upheld the verdict against Marie-Thérèse Kaiser, chairwoman of AfD Rotenburg, sentencing her to a €6,000 fine for incitement to hatred.

Marie-Thérèse Kaiser, who was an AfD candidate in the German federal elections at the time, criticized Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschentscher’s decision to admit Afghan refugees without bureaucratic hurdles. In her post on X, she questioned whether this decision would contribute to a “welcoming culture for gang rapes,” based on the overrepresentation of Afghan men in sexual crime statistics in Germany and several other offenses.

▹ Read more about the legal process here

Kaiser’s question became the subject of a legal case, accusing her of spreading hate and contempt against a specific ethnic group. The Landgericht Verden ruled that Kaiser’s statements were not protected by freedom of expression as they were deemed to violate the human dignity of Afghan refugees and incite hatred, despite her referencing German government statistics.

Download the court verdict here:

Urteil Mtk Landgericht Verden
6.1MB ∙ PDF file

Interview with Marie-Thérèse Kaiser

In an exclusive interview, Kaiser explained the background of her post and the reactions that followed:

“During the Afghanistan crisis, I criticized Hamburg’s mayor after he announced that he wanted to welcome Afghans in an unbureaucratic manner, without conducting any background checks or security measures. I posed a question based on official statistics about whether we are creating a welcoming culture for gang rapes, as Afghans are overrepresented in sexual offenses.”

Kaiser stated that her question was positively received by many Germans who felt that their concerns were finally being acknowledged. She emphasized that her post was based on facts and aimed to spark a necessary debate about the risks of unregulated immigration. Her goal was not to single out individuals as problematic.

You can also watch the full interview on YouTube, X, and Rumble.

Reactions and Support

Marie-Thérèse Kaiser’s case has garnered international attention and support. According to AfD’s press release, her prosecution has been viewed as an attempt to silence immigration critics through legal means, a strategy often referred to as “lawfare”.

The well-known entrepreneur Elon Musk has also expressed his support for Kaiser. Musk questioned the fairness of the verdict, wondering if she was penalized for merely repeating official government statistics on crime among Afghan migrants.

A Threat to Free Speech?

Kaiser’s case highlights a worrying trend in Germany where freedom of speech is perceived to be under attack regarding controversial topics. Kaiser plans to appeal the verdict and is prepared to take her fight to the constitutional court if necessary. She argues that the legal system fails to recognize the real issues that unregulated immigration brings and instead chooses to silence critics.

“It is important that we discuss facts and clearly identify perpetrator groups. We must be able to speak openly about the risks without it being taboo,” says Kaiser. “If more people dare to express their opinions, we can create a counter-movement that makes it harder to enforce these hate speech laws as strictly as they do now in Germany.”

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Christian Peterson

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Christian Peterson