Norbert Lammert: "Lay down red lines to curb the descent into hatred"

 

"Politicians, journalists and human rights activists are becoming targets for hate speech, insults and threats in most countries", pointed out Bundestag Speaker Norbert Lammert today, when addressing the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament. "In this climate of extreme polarisation we are seeing the emergence of fanatics who believe they are entitled to dispense justice themselves", he added, recalling the murder of the British Member of Parliament Jo Cox and the attack on the Mayor of Cologne Henriette Reker.

 

Faced with this escalating hatred, "we must mobilise, together with the judiciary, and lay down red lines that cannot be crossed, whether in political debate or in dialogue between citizens and elected representatives", said Mr Lammert. The limits of fair comment are constantly crossed on social networks and the perpetrators enjoy complete impunity", he said as he spoke of a "descent into hatred on the web".

"Taking action against hatred is the obligation of any free and democratic society. We must firmly and in all circumstances take a stand against hatred, prejudice and incitement to violence", concluded Mr Lammert.