Germany welcomes law alteration on “insults to Turkishness”

1st May 2008, Comments 0 comments

Amendments to legislation punishing "anti-Turkish" behaviour have been welcomed by Germany as progress for human rights.

Berlin -- Germany welcomed Ankara's amendments on Wednesday to a law punishing "insults to Turkishness" as an "important" step towards improving basic rights.

Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Andreas Peschke said in Berlin that when the amendments took effect, it would be more difficult to prosecute writers and journalists.

He said Berlin expected this would lead to "a significant strengthening" of free speech in Turkey.

He spoke the same day as the Turkish parliament altered Article 301 of the criminal code, which formerly made it an offence to "insult Turkishness."

The new offence is "insulting the Turkish nation," reduces the maximum sentence from three to two years, and makes the opening of court cases subject to approval by the justice minister.


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