German court upholds ban on parts of anti-Erdogan poem

Court says parts of comedian Jan Bohmermann’s insulting poem about Turkish leader exceeded limits of permissible criticism

German court upholds ban on parts of anti-Erdogan poem

World Bulletin / News Desk

 A German court on Friday upheld a ban on large sections of a satirical poem which mocked Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Hamburg court ruled that many passages in the poem by comedian Jan Bohmermann breached the Turkish leader’s personal rights. It barred the German entertainer from republishing them.

While underlining the significance of artistic freedom and freedom of expression, the court concluded that certain parts of Bohmermann's work exceeded the limits of permissible criticism.

"According to the Federal Constitutional Court, artistic freedom is unconditional but not unbounded,” the court said in its ruling.

“Satire is protected under artistic freedom, but it can also affect the core area of protection of personality, and for this reason it can be prohibited,” it added.

The court upheld its earlier ruling from May last year, when it issued a preliminary injunction and prohibited the German comedian from repeating certain sections of the poem, which included racial stereotypes, sexual references and insults.

Bohmermann sparked uproar in March last year with his controversial poem, which he read on public broadcaster ZDFneo.

He claimed his poem was aimed at highlighting human rights issues in Turkey; however, several critics saw the work as racist and abusive, exceeding the limits of freedom of expression.

Erdogan's lawyers filed a complaint against the comedian. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Şubat 2017, 19:16