PEGIDA leader goes on trial for hate speech

The anti-immigration group PEGIDA's leader is going on trial in the German city of Dresden with charges for incitement

PEGIDA leader goes on trial for hate speech

World Bulletin / News Desk

The founder of Germany’s far-right, anti-Islam Pegida movement will go on trial in Dresden Tuesday on hate speech charges after he called refugees “cattle” and “trash” in a Facebook post.

Lutz Bachmann, a 43-year-old convicted burglar and cocaine dealer who founded Pegida in 2014, could face between three months and five years in prison if found guilty.

He was charged with inciting racial hatred in October last year after a series of widely shared Facebook posts in which he described foreign immigrants and asylum seekers as “cattle”, “riff raff” and “a pack of dirt” and concluded: “There is no such thing as real war refugees.”

The trial in Dresden, a stronghold of Pegida support, will take place amid tight security.

Known for its frequent rallies against immigration, often met by counter-protests, Pegida, which stands for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West, has seen support surge in recent months amid an influx of refugees to Germany. The movement has also spawned offshoots in several other European countries, including France, the UK and Spain.

Bachmann, who denies being racist or extremist, was forced to resign as leader of the party in January last year after he posted a photo of himself online appearing to pose as Adolf Hitler, with a side-parting haircut and toothbrush moustache.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Nisan 2016, 10:15