Law to ban neo-Nazi marches passes second vote

18th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

18 March 2005, BERLIN - A tougher law aimed at keeping neo-Nazis away from Holocaust sites and memorials to Third Reich victims passed its second parliamentary hurdle on Friday in a bid by Berlin to prevent rightists from hijacking ceremonies marking the end of World War II.

18 March 2005

BERLIN - A tougher law aimed at keeping neo-Nazis away from Holocaust sites and memorials to Third Reich victims passed its second parliamentary hurdle on Friday in a bid by Berlin to prevent rightists from hijacking ceremonies marking the end of World War II.

The bill passed the Bundesrat, the chamber of deputies representing Germany's federal states, with broad support from all the mainstream parties.

The vote came a week after the Bundestag, or national parliament, approved the bill hammered out in a compromise between the ruling Social Democrats-Greens and the Christian Democrat-Liberal opposition.

The bill tightens freedom of assembly laws to the extent of even permitting authorities to ban neo-Nazi rallies so as to prevent rightists from trying to steal the spotlight in the upcoming 8 May events marking the 60th anniversary of Nazi Germany's capitulation in World War II.

Marches which seek to glorify or play down Nazi era crimes can also be banned under the law.

The bill came after neo-Nazi groups applied to march past the soon-to-be-opened Holocaust memorial in central Berlin and through the historic Brandenburg Gate - a practice favoured by torch-carrying brownshirts during the era of Adolf Hitler.

German lawmakers were jolted into action after a protest called by the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) in Dresden last month, marking the 60th anniversary of the city's firebombing in 1945, drew at least 5,000 rightists. It was the biggest neo-Nazi march in Germany since the 1950s.

DPA

Subject: German news

0 Comments To This Article