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Junge Welt appeals for freedom of speech against ‘extremism’ label

THE Morning Star’s German sister paper Junge Welt has issued an appeal for freedom of speech in protest against its continued inclusion on domestic extremism lists.

Since 2004 Germany’s only socialist daily newspaper has been listed in the annual Federal Constitutional Protection Report as a group under the Left-wing Extremism heading that allegedly pursues “anti-constitutional goals,” the paper said.

“Junge Welt is not a political organisation but a journalistic product,” the appeal states. “We see a solid political scandal in the fact that a state authority presumes to pillory an independent newspaper in this way because it does not like certain content.”

Inclusion in the extremism list has negative consequences, including being used as an excuse by organisations including state railway Deutsche Bahn to refuse it permission to advertise. Public libraries also block online access to it on the same grounds.

The paper highlighted a government response to Junge Welt’s complaint which cited its promotion of class consciousness as a reason it should be considered extremist: “Its division of society according to production-oriented class affiliation contradicts the guarantee of human dignity,” the government claimed.

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