Germany: Court upholds partial ban on comedian's Erdogan poem

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Hamburg court upheld a ban on certain phrases from comedian Jan Bohmermann's poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday, but did prohibit the entire piece.

SOT, Dr. Kai Wantzen, court press spokesperson (German): "The court's approach was to examine each line considering the satirical meaning with regards to the personality of the complainant. It came to a result, that there are parts of the poem in which, even with a wide scale, specific insults and offenses were unacceptable."

SOT, Dr. Kai Wantzen, court press spokesperson (German): "With the decision that the poem has some illicit parts that are intolerable to the complainant, the question is the least possible intervention, meaning the least possible interference."

SOT, Dr. Kai Wantzen, court press spokesperson (German): "The question whether only parts or the whole poem should be forbidden, is the question of commensurability."

SOT, Dr. Kai Wantzen, court press spokesperson (German): "The court has indicated that freedom of speech has to be especially considered, for the complainer is a head of state, and freedom of speech has a meaning from the critique of power, and that justifies the fact that the status of the complainer as head of state leads to him needing to acquiesce it more than perhaps others"


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