Gauland attacks intelligence surveillance of Germany's far-right AfD party

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-16 23:01:21|Editor: yan
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BERLIN, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- The classification of the German far-right party Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) as a "test case" by Germany's domestic intelligence service (BfV) would "not be appropriate," the AfD's parliamentary leader Alexander Gauland told the German public broadcaster ZDF on Wednesday.

Gauland admitted that individual AfD members had made statements that would qualify as unconstitutional. "But, my God, how many stupid statements are there in other parties, too? They cannot attribute individual statements to the party as a whole," Gauland argued.

Germany's domestic intelligence service had spotted the "first real clues" that the far-right populist AfD's policy was directed against Germany's liberal-democratic system, BfV President Thomas Haldenwang stated earlier.

Public statements by AfD members as well as the party's connections to right-wing extremists have been named as reasons to start the "test case" by BfV. Germany's domestic intelligence service is now investigating the extent to which right-wing extremist efforts are being made by the AfD.

Gauland complained that statements by politicians of other parties were not scrutinized equally. Referring to Germany's former Defense Minister Rupert Scholz and Friedrich Merz, who has narrowly lost the recent battle to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel as CDU party leader, Gauland said that these politicians had "demanded exactly the same" with regard to abolishing individual asylum rights. The examples given by BfV President Haldenwang would be "completely silly".

If the "test case" of the AfD turns into an actual investigation, the German intelligence service has the right to launch measures such as observation, cooperation with informants as well as recording certain AfD politicians' personal data.

Gauland "generally opposes" the observation of any German political party by the domestic intelligence service.