German high court refuses to ban neo-Nazi rallies

Neo-Nazi demonstrations can only banned when it can be shown that they would endanger the public’s safety, Germany’s highest court ruled Thursday.

The Federal Constitutional Court overturned an earlier court ruling that allowed the western city of Bochum to stop the far-right National Democratic Party from holding a June demonstration against the building of a new synagogue.

But the high court said that “the authority to limit basic rights of freedom is not tied to people’s attitudes, but to the dangers for legal protections that come from concrete acts.”

The basic right of freedom of opinion is “also a right for the protection of the minority,” the court said, but added that speech meant to incite and that is deemed a threat to safety can still be punished or banned.

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Associated Press, USA
July 29, 2004

Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday July 29, 2004.
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