German federal authorities have responded to earlier criticism by the United Nations' (UN) Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) of lax German hate speech measures with troubling proposals to restrict further freedom of expression. These developments in a case previously documented by my Legal Project (LP) colleague Sam Nunberg and me demonstrate once again the dangers for freedom that foreign organizations can present, especially in light of international campaigns against "Islamophobia."
An April 4, 2013, CERD decision had condemned the German refusal to prosecute former German central bank board member Thilo Sarrazin for hate speech against Arabs and Turks. CERD deemed the discontinuance of Sarrazin's criminal investigation a violation of German commitments under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
In a July 1 verbal note to the Geneva-based CERD, the German federal government responded that it "currently is examining German legislation for the punishment of racist statements in light of" CERD's decision. This examination, though, would take account of the right to free expression. Federal authorities had furthermore requested of the relevant Berlin prosecutors "to review every possibility of reconsidering" Sarrazin's case. Yet, the prosecutors reported, this review of the case's "factual and legal aspects" meant that the "cessation of prosecution stands."