Thursday, July 18, 2024

Germany Bans Display of Russian Military Symbol ‘Z’, Offenders Risk Prosecution

'I don't agree with it, in part because of the risk that suppressing one kind of speech will lead to suppression of other kinds... '

(Tony Sifert, Headline USA) Germany has banned any use of the Russian military’s white “Z” symbol that indicates support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to a report in Politico.

“The white ‘Z’ became a symbol of Russia‘s war after being painted on military vehicles taking part in the invasion of Ukraine,” Politico reported. “Its meaning is not clear.”

“The Russian war of aggression on the Ukraine is a criminal act, and whoever publicly approves of this war of aggression can also make himself liable to prosecution,” a spokesman for an Interior Ministry told reporters.

“The letter Z as such is of course not forbidden, but its use may in individual cases constitute an endorsement of the Russian war of aggression,” the spokesman continued.

A section of Germany’s criminal code prohibits the “incitement to crime of aggression,” and a display of the “Z” would be prosecuted in that context, NPR reported.

At The Volokh Conspiracy, law professor Eugene Volokh criticized the decision.

“How can a democracy, which presumably has to decide through democratic means what to do about the Russia-Ukraine war, criminalize support for one or the other side,” Volokh asked.

“I don’t agree with it, in part because of the risk that suppressing one kind of speech will lead to suppression of other kinds,” he continued.

Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak was investigated by the International Gymnastics Federation after wearing a white Z on his chest during a March 6 performance and on the podium at the 2022 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Doha, Qatar.

“The International Gymnastics Federation confirms that it will ask the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation to open disciplinary proceedings against male artistic gymnast Ivan Kuliak (RUS) following his shocking behaviour at the Apparatus World Cup in Doha, Qatar,” an FIG statement said.

Kuliak defended his decision in an interview with Russia Today, according to Fox News.

“I saw it with our military and looked at what this symbol means — it turned out, ‘for victory’ and ‘for peace,'” Kuliak said. “As an athlete, I will always fight for victory and stand for peace.”

Copyright 2024. No part of this site may be reproduced in whole or in part in any manner other than RSS without the permission of the copyright owner. Distribution via RSS is subject to our RSS Terms of Service and is strictly enforced. To inquire about licensing our content, use the contact form at https://headlineusa.com/advertising.
- Advertisement -