Wednesday, April 13, 2016

German Police Confirm Protecting TV Host After Satire About Erdogan.

German Police Confirm Protecting TV Host After Satire About Erdogan. (Sputnik).

German ZDF broadcaster's TV host Jan Bohmermann has been provided with police protection after reading a satirical poem about the Turkish president during Neo Magazin RoyalŠµ program, a Cologne police spokesman confirmed on Wednesday. On Monday, Erdogan filed a lawsuit against the TV host with the prosecutor of the German city of Mainz.

"We cannot disclose any details out of professional considerations, but it is true, a police car keeps watch near his home. Now we are assessing the whole context of the situation in contact with the secret services, clarifying the details," Christoph Gilles told RIA Novosti.

Gilles did not confirm whether Bohmermann had been actually receiving threats.

Erdogan has filed a criminal complaint against the satirist in a case that has prompted a debate in Germany over freedom of speech.

German prosecutors are investigating whether he broke a law against insulting foreign leaders.

Public broadcaster ZDF announced earlier on Tuesday that his weekly satire programme would not go ahead this week because of the "vast amount of media reporting and the resulting focus on the programme and its presenter".

It was not immediately clear if a concrete threat had been made against Boehmermann but Cologne police told German media: "When you can't rule something out then you have to do something."

Bild website reported that the satirist and his family were apparently facing a threat from supporters of the Turkish president. No request for protection measures had come from the comic but were a result of risk analysis, reports said.

Hannelore Kraft, state premier of North-Rhine Westphalia where the satirist lives, tweeted that freedom of satire was part of German democracy: "This should not be put in doubt. Certainly not through external political pressure."

Mrs Merkel emphasised on Tuesday that the deal with Turkey bore no relation to the legal action facing Jan Boehmermann. "Freedom of the press, opinion and science apply and are completely separate from that," she insisted.

The German chancellor had been expected to visit Turkey in the coming days, to open facilities built for refugees with EU funding. However, her spokesman made clear on Monday that there were no immediate plans for a trip. Hmmmm......Now Germany has it's own Rushdie for insulting the 'Caliph'.

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