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Germany

Germany Plans to Limit Protest Rights

Germany aims to stop neo-Nazis marching past Berlin's memorial to the Jews murdered in the Holocaust with new curbs on the right to demonstrate, Interior Minister Otto Schily said on Thursday. He told a news conference in the northern city of Kiel that he and Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries would present details of measures to prevent the march on Friday. They could then be fast-tracked before the planned far-right gathering in May. Schily said the government's proposals would seek to ban protests at certain sites, notably those of a sensitive nature. The far right-wing party NPD plans to hold a rally on or around May 8, the 60th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe, and aims to protest at the subsequent era of "liberation lies" and "the cult of guilt." Mainstream parties have been divided in their response to the far right's activities, but the neo-Nazi's plan to march past the soon-to-be-finished Jewish memorial and sweep through Brandenburg Gate in May has spurred action. The far right march in May is already a matter for the Berlin city assembly, but it is unlikely to decide whether to ban it before late April. The city could prevent it on security grounds, such as the proximity to the new US embassy currently under construction.

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