A United Nations committee has reprimanded Germany in strong language, saying that the country had violated an international anti-racism convention.
At issue are controversial statements made in 2009 by Thilo Sarrazin, a former finance senator for the city-state of Berlin, about Turks and Arabs, who he said sponged off the state and were incapable of integrating, among other things. But a complaint submitted to public prosecutors in Berlin was rejected on grounds that the comments were permissible under Germany’s freedom of expression law. An appeal to the decision was rejected as well.
According to the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), however, this constituted a violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, because it failed to conduct an “effective investigation” into the matter.
“This is a historic decision,” said the TBB Turkish Union, the cultural organization that submitted the case to the committee, in a statment on Thursday. “CERD has determined that Mr. Sarrazin’s comments touch on a feeling of racist superiority or racial hatred and contain elements of incitement to racial discrimination.”
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