Thursday 7 April 2016

muzzled oder totem und taboo

In a chilling development, a German comedian could face hefty fines and a prison sentence for a encore act directed at the president of Turkey—who has gone on record (as some other choice demagogues) saying while he welcomes criticism, those critics will be sued. Adding to the list of not just taboo subjects of conversation in Turkey, like defaming Ataturk’s memory zum Beispiel, or questioning the official party line on the Soviets’ allegiances in World War II, but illegal ones, Germany’s diplomatic corp was called to the carpet—well, rug—for this satire, causing the Chancellor to intervene, perhaps out of fear that her tenuous deal for a refugee-exchange with Turkey might be jeopardised over this spat.
Germany, along with a few other European nations, has a law on the books regarding the slander of foreign heads of state, which is rarely but selectively enforced and carries with it a possible jail-term, if relations are not smoothed over. What do you think? This is horrible, but I suppose that libeling a dictator in this instance carries a punishment less than that for sacrilege.