German Politician Found Guilty Of “Inciting Hatred” Towards Migrants After Publishing Gang Rape Statistics

Natasha Biase

A German politician has been found guilty of “inciting hatred” toward migrants after publishing gang rape statistics on social media. Alternative for Germany (AfD) politician Marie-Thérèse Kaiser shared an article in the summer of 2021 after the mayor of Hamburg announced the city was accepting 200 Afghan workers.

According to Remix, the article Kaiser shared featured official government statistics on gang rape cases to illustrate the risk Afghan migrants pose for committing serious felonies concerning their population size. 

“Afghanistan refugees; Hamburg SPD mayor for ‘unbureaucratic’ admission; Welcoming culture for gang rape?” she wrote in a now-deleted post.

Despite detractors labeling Kaiser as racist, she stressed was not grouping all Afghans together but was trying to demonstrate the impact moving hundreds of migrants to her district may have given the likelihood of rapists being among them. 

“The mere mention of numbers, data, and facts is to be declared a criminal offense simply because the establishment refuses to accept reality. I won’t let myself be silenced,” expressed Kaiser on X, formerly Twitter, in February.

Although Germany does have limited freedom of speech protections, Judge Heiko Halbfas ruled she was guilty on Monday of attacking the human dignity of migrants.

“Anyone who attacks human dignity cannot invoke freedom of expression,” he stated, adding that Kaiser’s sentiments “lead to hatred of a nationally determined group.”

As a result of receiving a guilty verdict in the Verden regional court in Lower Saxony, the 27-year-old representative for Germany’s right-wing populist party, who will now have a criminal record, has been ordered to pay a fine equivalent to over $6,400 USD.

News of Kaiser’s verdict made waves on X, with many, including Elon Musk, rallying behind her.

“Are you saying the fine was for repeating accurate government statistics? Was there anything inaccurate in what she said?” he wrote.

Gabrielle Mailbeck, a fellow AfD member and representative for the district of Schwaben, similarly expressed her support for Kaiser.

“They are trying to silence our Marie. But this woman cannot be tamed. [She] stands up for her homeland to the end, come what may…It seems that our patriotism is being punished and that we are no longer allowed to express our opinion about Germany. Didn’t you know that loving and respecting Germany is forbidden? The background to this verdict? Facts.”

In 2022, Remix reported that gang rapes had hit a record high in Germany after the AfD requested data from the government. The statistics reportedly showed that gang rapes saw a 17% increase in 2022 since the year prior, for a total of 789.

Notably, the data revealed that half of all gang rapes were committed by migrants or those with dual citizenship. However, because nearly 4 million dual citizens have listed their ethnicity as German, the exact number of ethnic Germans who committed these rapes remains inconclusive. 

Despite the muddied nature of the statistics, the data still demonstrates that the most dramatic uptick in rapes occurred after Germany’s migrant population spiked in 2016.

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