Over the past two months, I've come to note a German actor on the forefront of the refugee episode in Germany. Oddly, he stood here and did a number a number of interviews....siding with the positive side of refugees, and suggesting that Germans needed to do more.....both privately and within the government. I'd generally say that his conviction level was dramatic at times and used by the state-run TV media for various purposes in their 'message' to the public.
Well....it's come up this week....the actor....Til Schweiger (a fairly well known actor in Germany) and a resident of Munster (NRW, up in the north of Germany).....has been dragged into an investigation by the public prosecutor of Hamburg.
What the news media says is that anvestigation is under way (number: 7101 Js 527 / 15).
The hint of trouble? Sedition. It's usually defined to mean that you are using speech and organization to establish insurrection against established order (meaning the government). Subverting the Basic Law (the German Constitution) usually figures into this, along with hint of inciting the public against lawful authority (again, meaning the government).
Sedition is usually where you make a comment that counters the government's authority and suggests they are wrong. You can say this about people, and it all falls under freedom of speech. When you suggest the government has screwed up....well....it's sedition.
What the journalists say about this is that the prosecutor received a complaint and he had to open an investigation. The journalists (several different leads) have said that there's not much support or weight in the evidence, and the investigation will eventually come to an ending.....with no court action (at least they say this early on). Months involved? I'd take a humble guess of three months....more or less....involved.
Amusing? The state-run news media (Channel One/Two) used Til Schweiger on several occasions and he talked a good bit....ranting might be a good term to use, and they had others who chatted on the same topics. If you dragged Til Schweiger in for a sedition investigation.....well, I think you'd have to open up the Channel One/Two archives and bring on dozens of others who did similar interviews. It would become a hornet's nest in a matter of days.....with people then getting confused about the whole immigration, refugee and sedition thing. What can you say.....what you can you condemn about the government....would a political figure have more protection than a citizen? Well....you just don't know.
Confusing? I suspect over the weekend....some folks are going to start asking stupid questions. If Schweiger is in trouble....it'll turn into some massive public relations mess for the Berlin folks, and social media will blab left and right over the deal.
My advice? If you want to condemn something....it'd best be limited to food, potholes, marginal soccer teams, poor cellphone reception, dead people, lousy tasting beer, and the weather.