Sunday, 24 April 2016


The leader of the Berlin faction of the Pirate Party was detained by law enforcement for conducting a literary analysis of the infamous poem about the Turkish president on the street in front of that country’s embassy (the Turkish mission to German in der Tiergartenstraße, Berlin, mind you, and not in Ankara) over the weekend.
This development comes just after the Chancellor expressed second-thoughts on her initial condemnation of the comedian’s satire though still feeling that the case of the prosecution should go forward. The last time paragraph 103 from the German book of criminal code (Strafegesetzbuch—essentially a left-over from the days of European monarchy, criminalising the insult to the dignity of a foreign head of state, lèse-majesté) was invoked was by the Shah of Iran in an attempt to muzzle the critiques among the Iranian diaspora settled in Germany, and perhaps the Chancellor, announcing the intent to sunset the antiquated law within two years, was quietly hoping that it would similarly backfire. Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands, who have comparable laws in their penal codes (and constitutional monarchies all), announced that they would be repealing them post-haste.