A law Germany should get rid of

The Washington Post reports:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has cleared the way for the prosecution of German comedian Jan Böhmermann, whose poem mocking ’s president has become the centerpiece of a clash between ’s free-speech traditions and the government’s efforts to safeguard its important relations with Turkey.

In a news conference Friday, Merkel emphasized that it will now be up to German courts to decide whether Böhmermann is guilty of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But critics — including members of her own government — have described it as a betrayal of values protecting open expression.

“In a country under the rule of law, it is not up to the government to decide,” Merkel said. “Prosecutors and courts should weight personal rights against the freedom of press and art.” …

In her statement Friday, Merkel tried to appease critics by announcing that she would seek to repeal the controversial German law against insulting heads of state.

They should repeal the law. Heads of State are exactly the sort of people who should be able to be insulted, not protected.

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