| 18 April 2024, Thursday |

German court orders removal of ‘Hang the Greens’ posters

A German court ordered the removal of “Hang The Greens” election posters put up by a far-right party accused of having ties to neo-Nazi organizations on Tuesday.

The Third Way, a tiny party being monitored by security authorities, put up the posters in Zwickau only days before a vote that will determine the future of Europe’s largest economy following Chancellor Angela Merkel’s retirement.

After the Sept. 26 election, the Greens, who are now in third place in the polls, are expected to form part of a coalition administration.

Concerns about far-right violence in Germany were raised two years ago when conservative lawmaker Walter Luebcke was gunned down by a neo-Nazi for his pro-immigration beliefs.

The highest regional court in Saxony’s eastern state rejected a lower court’s decision that the posters may remain up as long as they were not placed within 100 meters (109.36 yards) of the Green posters.

The higher court said in a statement that “the party’s freedom of expression must take a second seat to the preservation of public safety,” adding that the posters may be perceived as encouraging hatred and violence against Green Party members.

The Third Way had argued that the slogan was ambiguous, especially in the context of an election as its campaign posters were green, and that there was a free speech justification for keeping the posters up.

  • Reuters