Beatrix Amelie Ehrengard Eilika von Storch (née Beatrix Amelie Ehrengard Eilika, Duchess of Oldenburg), a leading lawmaker from the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party was blocked from Twitter and Facebook on Monday after slamming a Cologne police New Year’s tweet in Arabic.
The ban was the result of NetzDG, a controversial new German social media law clamping down on online hate speech, which went into effect January 1. Using the new law against one of their own caused the AfD to lash out further and criticize government censorship.
Two years ago, Cologne saw mass sexual assaults on New Year’s Eve by North African and Arab young men. In preparation, the Cologne police tweeted New Year’s greetings with links to information on celebrating safely, in German and other languages, including Arabic.
#PolizeiNRW #Köln #Leverkusen
تتمنى الشرطة في كولن لجميع الناس في منطقة كولن وليفركوزن والمدن الأخرى إحتفالاً سعيداً بعام 2018 الجديد.
https://t.co/G5erMWFNQyرأس السنة 2017 ـ لمزيد المعلومات: # pic.twitter.com/BGxs4Kew7K
— Polizei NRW K (@polizei_nrw_k) December 31, 2017
AfD’s deputy leader Beatrix von Storch tweeted in response: “What the hell is happening in this country? Why is an official police site tweeting in Arabic? Do you think it is to appease the barbaric, gang-raping hordes of Muslim men?”
The tweet was deleted and her account was frozen for 12 hours, for violating the new hate speech rules. Cologne police on Monday announced they had filed a criminal complaint against von Storch for hate speech.
In late February 2016, after Storch asserted that German border control personnel had the right to shoot at incoming illegal immigrants, she was “pied” by members of the German left-wing group Peng Collective dressed as clowns.