16 Dec 2019 Lvl. 2
Alert created on: 18 Sep 2019 n° 113/2019 Germany

AfD’s Politician Björn Höcke Threatens Journalist of ‘Massive consequences’ over Interview Questions

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Mr. Höcke, AfD’s lead candidate in the state of Thuringia, walked out of an interview with journalist David Gebhard of the German state broadcaster (ZDF), threatening the journalist with ‘massive consequences’.

The politician had sat for an interview aired on 15 September 2019, in which he was asked about a comparison between his rhetoric and that of Adolf Hitler. During the interview, Mr. Höcke’s aide reportedly interrupted, asking the interview to be restarted on the grounds that the questions ”had strongly emotionally affected” the politician. When his request was turned down, Mr. Höcke walked out, telling the journalist that he "may yet become a politically interesting person in this country”.
16 Dec 2019: On 16 December 2019, given that no complaint was filed by journalist David Gebhard or his employer, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
State replies
05 Dec 2019
Reply from the German authorities
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