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German MP probed for anti-Muslim posts

Berlin, Jan 2 (IANS) A far-right German MP is under police investigation over inflammatory anti-Muslim comments she made on social media on New Years Eve, the media reported on Tuesday.

The Twitter account of Beatrix von Storch, deputy leader of Germany’s AfD party, was temporarily suspended on Monday, but she was later posting again on the site, reports the Guardian.

Von Storch, whose grandfather served as finance minister under Hitler, accused Cologne police of appeasing “barbaric, gang-raping Muslim hordes of men” after they tweeted a New Year message in Arabic. The police also tweeted the message in other languages, including English, French and German.

The authorities are considering whether Von Storch should be charged with incitement to hatred, a criminal offence.

Her Twitter account was suspended for 12 hours for her post, as it breached the site’s rules.

On her return to the social media site, Von Storch posted in German: “Facebook has now also censored me. This is the end of the constitutional state.”

Germany has enacted stringent hate speech laws, with social media firms facing fines of up to 50 million euros if they do not remove “obviously illegal” hate speech and other postings within 24 hours of receiving a notification.

In June, von Storch answered “yes” to a question on Facebook asking whether firearms should be used against women and children trying to cross the German border, the Guardian reported.

Von Storch later suggested her computer mouse had slipped.

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