Court overturns police ban on rightist Cup protest

9th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

9 June 2006, BERLIN - Germany's highest court on Friday overturned a police ban of a far-rightist march planned for this weekend to coincide with the football World Cup opening.

9 June 2006

BERLIN - Germany's highest court on Friday overturned a police ban of a far-rightist march planned for this weekend to coincide with the football World Cup opening.

Members of the anti-foreigner National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) can go ahead with their demonstration in the western city of Gelsenkirchen, the Federal Constitutional Court said.

A ban on the rally to be held Saturday - one day after the Poland- Ecuador match in the city - had been upheld by a lower court earlier this week.

Police banned the NPD demonstration ostensibly due to fears of violence.

But a further reason appears to have been fears the event would be used by neo-Nazis to support Iran's football team as a veiled means to back Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has denied the Holocaust and called for Israel's destruction.

Denying the Holocaust is illegal under German law.

NPD rallies still remain banned in the cities of Frankfurt and Herne close to Gelsenkirchen.

An Iranian vice president, Mohammed Aliabadi, plans to attend the World Cup, but German officials have made it clear he will be given an official cold shoulder during his visit.

President Ahmadinejad has said he plans to come to Germany for the World Cup if Iran makes it into the second round.

Jewish groups have called for Ahmadinejad to be banned from entering Germany but the government says the Iranian leader would be allowed to come and is protected by his diplomatic status.

Charlotte Knobloch, the newly elected head of Germany's Central Council of Jews, termed the Iranian leader "a second Hitler."

"The German government cannot therefore protect him with diplomatic immunity," said Knobloch, adding: "On the contrary, officials should launch an investigation against him and punish him."

DPA

Subject: German news

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