Pegida Founder Faces Hate Speech Charges
The Local, October 2, 2015
Lutz Bachmann, founder of Pegida (“Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West”) has been charged by state prosecutors in Dresden with incitement to racial hatred.
The charges by state prosecutors in Dresden go back to anti-immigration Facebook posts made by Bachmann in autumn 2014, which surfaced on the public internet in January.
Prosecutors say that by calling foreigners “livestock”, “junk”, and “scum”, the former public relations consultant had willingly risked causing disturbances of the peace.
The local criminal court in the Saxon capital must now decide whether the charges will proceed to a full trial and set a date.
Bachmann has several convictions for drugs and property crimes and has served multiple stints in prison.
Prosecutors are investigating him over further allegations of incitement to hatred, after he said at a demonstration on Monday that all asylum seekers were criminals.
Bachmann’s recent Facebook posts are also under investigation.
Pegida has held demonstrations for almost a whole year on Monday nights in Dresden.
At its best-attended marches, the movement pulled in around 25,000 supporters.
Weekly attendance fell back sharply during the summer as the leadership split, but has been climbing again as the refugee crisis has become more serious.
On Monday 28th September, 7,500 people marched in Dresden under the Pegida banner.