Head of Berlin Pirate Party Jailed Over Erdogan Protest

Head of Berlin Pirate Party Jailed Over Erdogan Protest

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Bruno Kramm, the head of the Berlin branch of Germany’s Pirate Party, was arrested yesterday for ‘insulting a representative of a foreign state’. During a protest he had quoted a satirical poem by the comedian, Jan Boehmermann.

Police arrested Kramm in front of the Turkish embassy in Berlin. The arrest came during a protest against the German government’s decision (earlier this month) to authorize the prosecution of the German comedian, Jan Boehmermann, over the poem he recited on German TV targeting the Turkish leader. The Pirate Party has been staging weekly Friday demonstrations against the ‘systematic terror of censorship, oppression, despotism and killings by the dictator Erdogan’.

During yesterday’s demonstration, Kramm was approached by several police officers as he was reciting the lines and taken into custody. They brought him in on the grounds that he violated the rarely used section 103 of the German criminal code that prohibits insulting “organs and representatives of foreign states.”

In a statement published on the Party website, Kramm writes:

“When people slightly criticize the government in Turkey, they are persecuted, beaten or disappear. At the same time, the dictator Erdogan is allowed to significantly restrict the right of assembly and the freedom of expression in Germany, simply for saying that he beats Kurds and Christians.”

In a reference to the heavily criticized EU-Turkey migrant deal (recently praised by German Chancellor Angela Merkel) Kramm continues:

“Those who make such people agents of an inhumane refugee policy should not be surprised when fundamental rights also disappear in Europe.”

Pirate Times reached out to Bruno Kramm to find out that he has been released from jail but, in the next few days, he will be called to answer the charges against him under section 103 of the criminal code.

Featured image: CC, Piratenpartei

Andrew McCallum

About Andrew McCallum

Andrew McCallum lives and works in Southern Scotland. By day he runs a community-led social enterprise company in a small area of multiple deprivation on the southside of Edinburgh, providing a range of care and support services to disadvantaged people, and by night he scribbles poetry while consuming vast quantities of caffeine and nicotine. He is a member of Pirate Party UK and a bit of an anarchist.

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