German far-right lawmaker faces police complaint over hate tweet Jan 03, 2018 0 415 12345 AFPBerlinGerman police have filed a complaint against a prominent member of Germany's far-right AfD party over a tweet on New Year's Eve which they say violated laws against incitement to hate.Beatrix von Storch, deputy leader of the party's parliamentary faction, had criticised Cologne police for sending a New Year's greeting in Arabic on Twitter."What the hell is going on with this country? Why is an official police site... tweeting in Arabic?" she wrote."Did you mean to placate the barbaric, Muslim, gang-raping hordes of men?"Von Storch's tweet appeared to reference chaotic 2015 New Year's Eve celebrations in Cologne, which were marred by mass sex assaults on women by men of mostly North African origin.Cologne police told AFP the complaint alleges the tweet flouted anti-incitement laws.Separately, prosecutors in Cologne said they had received hundreds of complaints over the AfD lawmaker's comment.Von Storch's account was blocked by Twitter for 12 hours following her post, and the tweet has since been removed.She posted the same comment on Facebook, which then also took it down, citing"incitement to hate (paragraph 130 of the German penal code)".Twitter and Facebook's tough stance came as an anti-online hate speech law came into effect on January 1 in Germany.Social media companies that fail to remove illegal inflammatory comments could face up to 50 million euros ($60 million) in fines.AfD party chief Alexander Gauland took aim at the new rules, saying in remarks carried by national news agency DPA that the regulations are"Stasi methods that remind me of communist East Germany".Gauland, who is not active on social media, encouraged users of such websites to"keep publishing" the erased comments from von Storch.A Cologne police spokesman said it was long-standing practise to send out information in several languages during large gatherings and events."We simply want people to be able to understand us," said the spokesman.The AfD took 92 parliamentary seats in September elections -- the strongest showing for a far-right party in the post-war era -- as it capitalised on discontent over the more than one million asylum seekers who have arrived in Germany since 2015.The refugee issue has again captured public attention over the New Year, with a debate about whether asylum seekers claiming to be minors should submit to medical checks such as hand X-rays to determine their age.Conservatives, especially from Chancellor Angela Merkel's camp, have pushed to standardise the probes after the murder of a 15-year-old girl in the western town of Kandel by her Afghan ex-boyfriend. POST A COMMENT RELATED ARTICLES France vows crackdown after New Year attack on police Jan 03, 2018 0 65 German conservatives call for age tests of minors seeking asylum Jan 03, 2018 0 53 France to instal phones in prison cells in bold shift Jan 03, 2018 0 51 Moldovan court suspends president's powers over minister refusal Chisinau The Moldovan constitutional court temporarily suspended the powers of President Igor Dodon on Tuesday following his refusal to approve the appointment of several pro-Europe ministers. Dodon repeatedly .. Police probe Berlin knife attacker for Islamist motive Berlin Police said Tuesday they were unable to rule out an Islamist background after a"deranged" Syrian knifeman was arrested over an attack in one of Berlin's underground stations. Witnesses said the .. French President Macron to visit China next week Beijing French President Emmanuel Macron will visit China for 3 days starting Jan 8, the Chinese foreign ministry said Tuesday, after the young leader declared the need for a stronger Europe to"face China". This will be .. Monkeys killed in UK safari park blaze AFP London A British safari park's entire troop of 13 Patas monkeys was killed in a fire that ripped through their shelter on Tuesday. Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire, southern England, said staff were .. Bulgaria president vetoes anti-corruption law REUTERS SOFIA President Rumen Radev on Tuesday vetoed anti-graft legislation passed by Bulgaria's parliament, saying the bill failed to offer the means to effectively investigate corruption networks. Radev .. Britain wants financial services included in EU trade deal: Davis REUTERS LONDON Britain wants to include financial services in a trade deal with the European Union which covers a full sweep of economic areas, Brexit minister David Davis said on Tuesday. Davis said that any deal that ..