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Germany

Preventative Custody Similar to Nazi Practice?

Outspoken Green party politician Hans-Christian Ströbele, likened Interior Minister Otto Schily's controversial suggestion to allow "preventative custody" in the case of suspected terrorists to the Nazis' arrest of political opponents and other "undesirables". "We had a very, very sad experience in the Nazi period," Ströbele said on ZDF television. "Back then it was called 'preventative custody.' We don't want to go that way again." Schily had suggested in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung that protective custody be allowed as a last resort in protecting citizens against terrorists, referring to the "deadly threat of worldwide Islamic terrorism." Günter Beckstein, the Bavarian Interior Minister, appearing on the same program, sharply criticized the comparison. It was irresponsible to compare the crimes of the Nazis with a democratic security apparatus, said Beckstein. Arrests should be limited to illegal aliens who could not be deported due to the imminent death penalty awaiting them in their home country, he added. Schily's controversial proposal was also rejected by the opposition Liberal Free Democrats (FDP) who said it was "clearly unconsitutional."

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