Angela Merkel agrees to prosecution of comedian over Erdoğan poem

“In a constitutional democracy, weighing up personal rights against freedom of the press and freedom of expression is not a matter for governments, but for public prosecutors and courts,” Merkel said in a press conference on Friday…

Paragraph 103 of the German criminal code criminalises insults against organs or representatives of foreign states.

The chancellor expressed “grave concerns” about the prosecution of individual journalists in Turkey, as well as growing limitations to the right to protest, but emphasised Germany’s close diplomatic ties with the country.

The poem was read in a short clip on a late-night programme screened on the German state broadcaster ZDF at the end of last month, where Böhmermann sat in front of a Turkish flag beneath a small, framed portrait of Erdoğan, reading out a poem that accused the Turkish president of, among other things, “repressing minorities, kicking Kurds and slapping Christians while watching child porn”.