Bruno Kramm, leader of Berlin's branch of the German Pirate Party, was arrested Saturday for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Kramm was detained while conducting a "literary analysis," in support of comedian Jan Boehmermann, outside the Turkish Embassy in Berlin. As part of the publicity stunt, he read two lines of Boehmermann poem ridiculing Erdogan.
The incident comes after chancellor Angela Merkel allowed prosecutors to file charges against Boehmermann, following Turkish demands that he be punished for broadcasting the poem on local television.
Boehmermann, however, was not physically detained by police.
RT reports that Kramm was
"approached by several police officers" after he began citing the lines and taken into custody. Police dispersed the gathering, according to RT.
The arrest will further embarrass the German government, which sees itself as supportive of free speech but has failed to scrap an old law against insulting foreign heads of state. Merkel has promised to do so, but has also been criticized for condemning the poem and cosying up to the Turks to get them to accept more Syrian refugees.
Kazakh blogger Lyubov Kalugina has been charged under Russia’s Article 282, an “anti-extremism” law now being used by men who claim women sharing jokes and memes offend them. Via Quartz:
Researchers from the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab (previously) have published an extensive report on the image filtering systems used by Chinese messaging giant Wechat to prevent the posting of banned political messages and other "sensitive" topics that are censored in China.
Look, I'm as delighted as you are to see Alex Jones' ability to spread hatred curtailed -- because in a world where all the important speech takes place online, and where online speech is owned by four or five companies, being kicked off of Big Tech's services is likely to be an extinction-level event.
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