Incitement against minorities, threats against committed citizens and calls to assassinate politicians: many people give free rein to their hatred in Internet forums and social media. To ensure that these perpetrators do not go unpunished, a new central office for combating hate crime on the Internet will be launched in Lower Saxony on July 1. July, a new central office for combating hate crime on the Internet will be launched in Lower Saxony. It is located at the public prosecutor’s office in Gottingen. Hate crime includes politically motivated crimes based on the perpetrator’s prejudices, such as anti-Semitic or Islamophobic threats and insults.
"We have a problem"
"We must not talk it down: We have a problem with hate, threats and violence on the Internet", said Lower Saxony’s Justice Minister Barbara Havliza (CDU) in Gottingen on Friday. Language prage thoughts. "And hateful words can turn into deeds, as the past few months have shown us in the most despicable way." Those who cared about our democracy and togetherness were not allowed to become a target. According to its own information, the central office is particularly focusing on proceedings in which official and mandate holders are affected by hate crime.
Gottingen prosecutor’s office expects significant increase in hate crime-related investigations. The background to this is the law against hate and incitement on the Internet that was recently passed in Berlin, said senior public prosecutor Andreas Buick. According to the law, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter must in future not only delete certain posts, but immediately report them to the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). In order to quickly identify the perpetrators, they also have to pass on IP addresses. Lower Saxony will have about ten percent of these procedures forwarded by the BKA, according to Buick. It remains to be seen whether the two additional prosecutors hired were able to beat this trap, he said.
Even before its official start, the Gottingen central office had taken over investigations against four defendants. The background was hate comments against the assassinated president of Kassel, Walter Lubcke (CDU), on social networks. Apartments nationwide were therefore searched at the beginning of June. In Lower Saxony, the action was directed against four men aged 38, 59, 64 and 70 from the towns of Wurster Nordseekuste (Cuxhaven district), Wietze (Celle district), Diepholz and Hanover. Data carriers and computers were seized and in one case weapons were also discovered.
It is about the protection of the freedom of opinion
The prosecutors in Gottingen are the contact for a corresponding central office at the State Criminal Police Office of Lower Saxony. According to Senior Public Prosecutor Stefan Studenroth, it is also about protecting freedom of expression. "It must be possible for everyone, especially socially engaged people, to publicly express certain views without subsequently being subjected to inhumane comments and intimidating threats", he said.