STOCK IMAGE: Police have raided over 70 homes in Germany concerning incidents of so-called "online hate posting", the country's Justice Ministry has announced. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)


German authorities raid 70 homes over ‘online hate posting’


Police have raided more than 70 homes in Germany concerning incidents of so-called “online hate posting”, the country’s justice ministry said.

According to a press release published late on June 6, residences in every German state were raided in the latest attempt to crack down on “hate speech”.

Numerous justifications were given for the action: some residents were suspected of issuing “threats” against politicians, while others were suspected of merely targeting them with “insults”, which is also a crime in Germany.

Other raids regarded posts related to “inflammatory content and propaganda offences” connected to “right-wing” or “foreign” ideologies.

Of these allegedly criminal posts, some are said to have involved images of swastikas.

Others contained “anti-Semitic statements relating to the Middle East conflict, such as the slogan ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free'”, the ministry said.

That phrase has been linked to radical Islamic groups such as Hamas but is also regularly used by elected politicians within the European Union, including Spain’s Labour Minister Yolanda Díaz.

In the press release, the justice ministry said the number of online “hate postings” registered by police relating to “foreign ideology”  had quadrupled over the last year, while those related to “right-wing” ideologies tripled.

The statement went on to encourage German citizens to show “support” by reporting all incidents of hate postings they encounter.

“If you come across hate postings online or are a victim yourself, you should report it to the local police. Some federal States have internet portals where you can report such crimes anonymously,” the ministry said.