German AfD MP investigated for anti-Muslim tweet on New Year's Eve

German AfD MP investigated for anti-Muslim tweet on New Year's Eve

German AfD MP investigated for anti-Muslim tweet on New Year's Eve

In an interview with Breitbart News on Tuesday, Ms. Von Storch recalled that more than a thousand women and girls were "victims of sexual violence and harassment by Muslim asylum-seekers and so-called refugees" during Cologne's notorious New Year's Eve celebrations in 2015. The tweet did not obviously please the German MP who replied: "What the hell is happening in this country?"

Overseeing such cities as Cologne and Leverkusen, North Rhine-Westphalia police had posted a celebratory message in several languages, such as English, French and Arabic, on December 31, The Guardian reports. "Do you think it is to appease the barbaric, gang-raping hordes of Muslim men?" wrote Beatrix von Storch. "Why is an official police site. tweeting in Arabic?" she wrote.

The lawmaker then upped the ante, writing a sarcastic post once her account was reopened.

The authorities are considering whether Von Storch should be charged with incitement to hatred, a criminal offence. Storch's party defended her comments on the social media claiming that the removal of her statement was a form of censorship. Storch posted the same comment on Facebook and her account was blocked from the social media website for the same reasons of provocation against Muslims.

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In response to Storch's tweet, Twitter suspended her account for 12 hours, stating that her comments breached the site's community standards.

AfD party chief Alexander Gauland took aim at the new rules, calling it "censorship" and saying the new regulations are "Stasi methods that remind me of communist East Germany". She posted on Twitter a screen grab of a message she received from Facebook informing her that a post similar to her disputed tweet had been withheld in Germany because it was unlawful.

Under a law that took full effect in Germany on Monday, Twitter, Facebook and other social media companies can be fined as much as €50 million ($60 million) if they fail to remove hate speech and fake news posts quickly.

Internet activists and journalist organizations have also raised objections, not least because the government has deliberately left the task of deleting content or blocking users to the internet platforms themselves, rather than having courts make decisions.

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