Human rights in Germany: Amnesty criticizes six negative trends

Human rights
Weapons deliveries and restricted fundamental rights: What Amnesty International accuses Germany of

Amnesty International has presented its annual report for 2023/24

© Britta Pedersen/DPA-Zentralbild / DPA

According to Amnesty International, there are several negative trends in human rights in Germany. This emerges from the organization’s 2023/24 annual report. The criticisms in detail.

Amnesty International attests Germany reported several negative developments in human rights matters in the 2023/24 annual report. First of all, the organization is calling on the federal government to stop arms deliveries to Israel. “It must not supply weapons to Israel and other conflict countries if there is a risk that war crimes or human rights violations will be committed,” said the Secretary General of the German section of Amnesty, Julia Duchrow, at the presentation of the human rights organization’s annual report. Arms exports to protect the civilian population from attacks are not affected, she added, referring to Ukraine.

The organization reiterated its criticism of Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip. “The military operation of the Israeli armed forces in the Gaza Strip has lost all measure,” emphasized Duchrow. “It involves numerous war crimes and violations of international humanitarian law,” she said.

Weapons deliveries to Israel

However, the federal government refuses to “name the Israeli army’s war crimes.” “Instead, it increasingly supplied weapons,” explained Duchrow. With regard to the Middle East conflict, Amnesty accuses the German government of “applying double standards”. This also harms international human rights standards.

But also in Germany Amnesty criticizes several developments:

Restricted freedom of expression

After Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, the federal government “imposed various measures that restricted the right to freedom of expression, especially against people who expressed solidarity with Palestinians,” the organization writes. The slogan “From the river to the sea” has also been banned as a symbol of Hamas, although it has previously been used by others and in other contexts.

Bans on gatherings

The organization also criticized interference with freedom of assembly in connection with the Middle East conflict. Numerous solidarity events in favor of the Palestinians were banned as a preventative measure. “There were media reports of unnecessary and excessive use of force by police, hundreds of arrests and increased racial profiling of people perceived to be Arab or Muslim,” the annual report said.

Lack of protection for migrants

The report also criticizes Germany for not adequately protecting migrants from acts of violence. “Germany does not sufficiently recognize structural racism and does too little to protect people from hate crimes,” said Duchrow. Attacks and politically motivated crimes, including insults and attacks on those seeking protection and refugee accommodation, would have increased further in 2023 compared to the previous year.

The organization also denounces the fact that the humanitarian admission program for people at risk from Afghanistan has so far only brought a total of 94 people to Germany. In October 2022 it was planned that 1,000 people per month would come to Germany from Afghanistan – by now that would be at least 18,000.

Criminalization of climate activists

In addition, Germany has brought out “very heavy artillery” with regard to climate activists, said Duchrow. She cited several weeks of preventive detention and investigations into criminal associations as examples. “This is an attack on the right to peaceful protest,” she said.

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Abortion in the criminal code

Amnesty also denounced the fact that abortion is still criminalized in Germany, “and has been since imperial times.” The organization emphasized that abortions should be regulated outside the criminal code.

Sources:Annual report Germany 2023 on Amnesty.deAFP


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