German far-right Pegida founder Bachmann in race trial
The founder of Germany’s anti-Islamist Pegida movement has gone on trial in Dresden on hate speech charges. Lutz Bachmann, 43, is accused of inciting racial hatred in Facebook posts, in which he called refugees “cattle”, “scumbags” and “filth”.
Lutz Bachmann’s – who has already served time in jail before – trial was being held amid tight security in Dresden. The Pegida founder claims it is politically motivated and wore large, rectangular dark glasses in an apparent swipe at German censorship rules.
Pegida’s rallies have attracted thousands of supporters in Germany and the movement has spread to numerous countries since its launch in the eastern German city in 2014. Pegida was particularly prominent in demonstrations in Cologne in January after numerous complaints of sexual assaults against women in the city on New Year’s Eve.
There were 1,005 attacks on refugee homes in Germany last year – five times more than in 2014. Separately to M. Bachmann’s case, police arrested five suspects near Dresden accused of attacking migrant hostels and plotting far-right, anti-immigrant terror.
The court says Mr Bachmann “disrupted public order” through his comments, which constituted an “attack on the dignity” of refugees. If found guilty, he could face between three months and five years in prison.
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"Il devient absolument urgent de mettre un terme à cette injustice. Il y a un manque de connaissances et de recherches. Il faut donc promouvoir le recueil de témoignages, mais aussi construire des mémoriaux, organiser des expositions..." - @BenjaminAbtan