Germany Shuts Down Far-Left Website for ‘Legitimizing Violence’

Germany shut down a left-wing website for “legitimizing violence” against police officers at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg last month, German authorities said Friday.

The shutdown of the site, linksunten.indymedia, is the first such move by the German government against left-wing extremists in the country, according to the New York Times.

Thomas de Maizière, the interior minister, said that the website stirred up unrest at the G-20 summit.

“The prelude to the G-20 summit in Hamburg was not the only time that violent actions and attacks on infrastructural facilities were mobilized on linksunten.indymedia,” he said.

The Interior Ministry said the website was the “most influential online platform for vicious left-wing extremists in Germany,” and said it has been used to incite violence for years.

Activity on the website is intended to “legitimize violence against police officers” and is an “expression of an attitude that tramples human dignity,” according to de Maizière.

“This is absolutely unacceptable and incompatible with our liberal democratic order,” he added.

Germany’s 1949 constitution protects the right to demonstrate peacefully, but German authorities have taken recent action against hate speech.

In June, officers raided the homes of 36 people accused of hateful postings on social media, and in January 2016, Germany shut down the right-wing website “Altermedia Deutschland.”

The Times noted that Germany “tries to strike a careful balance between defending free speech and maintaining public order.”

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