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We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Monday 2 December 2013

States try again to ban neo-Nazi party (Germany)

Germany's states are making a renewed push to ban the country's best-known neo-Nazi party, arguing it

is basically the same as Hitler's party, and is damaging democracy.
The states - represented in the upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat - are due to submit their application for a ban to the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe on Tuesday.

It is the second attempt to ban the NPD (National Democratic Party of Germany), after the same court rejected a submission in 2003, because too much of the crucial evidence was from party members who were acting as paid agents of the security services.

That attempt was backed by the government and Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, as well as the Bundesrat. This time the Bundesrat is going it alone, after the other two bodies decided a second attempt was unlikely to succeed.

This time around, the submission consists only of publicly available evidence, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) newspaper reported - as well as two reports from academics.
One of these talks of a "continuity in ideological direction" from historical National Socialism to the NPD. A second says that the actions of the NPD have "already led to the limitation of public democratic life at the local level."

The NPD last got 0.8 percent of the vote in Lower Saxony's state election, 1.2 percent in Bavaria and 1.1 percent in Hesse, while in September's federal election they managed 1.3 percent. They have a total of 13 state MPs in Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

The submission to ban the party claims the NPD wants to violently deport foreigners and migrants, as well as those who have German citizenship but do not met their narrow definition of being German enough.

It also argues that the NPD's, "rejection of the democratic parliamentary system of government, its relativism of National Socialist injustice and the relativism of the state's monopoly on the legitimate use of force" counted as breaches of the basic order of peaceful democracy.

The FAZ also said that a security service report included in the submission suggested that one in four of the NPD's leadership nationally and in states, had criminal records for offences including assault, criminal damage, trespassing, and propaganda-related offences. Half of those convicted were, according to the report, habitual offenders and had been given prison sentences for their crimes.
The Bundestag decided to make the submission a year ago in the wake of the National Socialist Underground (NSU) case, in which a neo-Nazi gang, which had some connections to NPD functionaries, are accused of killing ten people over a period of seven years.

The Local Germany

Thursday 28 November 2013

Mother of NSU suspect Zschäpe refuses to testify in neo-Nazi killings case (Germany)

The mother of Beate Zschäpe, the woman on trial in Germany over her alleged role in a string of neo-Nazi murders, has refused to testify. Annerose Zschäpe claimed a legal right not to testify against a close relative.

Annerose Zschäpe (pictured right), who appeared with her lawyer at the Munich Higher Regional Court on Wednesday, said she was using her right under German law to refuse to give testimony against a close relative.

In her brief, three minute appearance, the 61-year-old also directed that her statements made to officers in the November 2011 investigation of the case should not be used in court.

Beate Zschäpe is alleged to be the only surviving member of a trio known as the National Socialist Underground, which prosecutors claim embarked on an "execution-style" killing spree between 2000 and 2009.

The three, Zschäpe and the now-deceased Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt, were allegedly behind the murder of nine immigrants of Turkish and Greek background, as well as a German policewoman.

Prosecutors have portrayed 38-year-old Zschäpe as having been a troubled youth growing up in eastern Germany as communism came to an end - with the mass unemployment, youth crime and spread of neo-Nazi ideology that followed.

Parental failure has been an important issue in the trial, with Böhnhardt's mother giving evidence earlier in the month.

'Right, but not so extreme'

Mother and daughter, who are reported to have had a difficult relationship, were said not to have looked at each other in the courtroom.

Despite the refusal of Zschäpe's mother to testify, her cousin - identified only as Stefan A. - did speak in court on Wednesday about the childhood of the accused.

He described the defendant, with whom he grew up in the eastern German city of Jena, as "nice," but added that she was "not a girl to simply accept things." Zschäpe had right-wing leanings, he said, but these were "not so extreme" and commonplace among young people in the low-income city.

"We already had a bias towards the right then," said the 39-year-old. "We hated the state, foreigners, the left - just about everything," he said, but added that he had not directly discussed politics with Zschäpe.

Stefan A. added that he had lost contact with Zschäpe and the two men. "Uwe Mundlos disapproved of my lifestyle. I drank a lot and partied," he said, adding Mundlos had become a teetotaler.

German police and intelligence agencies have been criticized for their failure to detect a far-right motive for the killings, and for not following up a trail of clues that would have led to the group being caught.

Zschäpe is alleged to have set fire to an apartment she shared with Mundlos and Böhnhardt in the city of Zwickau, after the two died in an apparent suicide pact in November, 2011.