Germany has given up its absurd attempt to jail a comedian for insulting the president of Turkey.
Jan Boehmermann became an enemy of the state after reading out a satirical poem on TV which alleged that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has “a tiny wang” and enjoys sex with goats.
The mocking tirade was a protest against German laws which banned insulting foreign heads of state. Here’s a translation from Reddit of what he said:
Erdogan, a thin-skinned authoritarian who has held high office in Turkey for 14 years, made an official complaint, sparking a criminal investigation and risking jail.
But prosecutors in the city of Mainz have now said there is insufficient evidence to take Boehmermann to court – despite the fact that he broke the law publicly and on purpose.
— Camilo Toledo (@camilotoley) October 4, 2016
Angela Merkel, whose cabinet approved the prosecution, was harshly criticised for not defending German free speech. She has now pledged to repeal the law prevent insults against foreign dignitaries.
Some have speculated that Boehmermann was partly saved by the British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson.
Johnson, then Mayor of London, wrote his own poem insulting Erdogan in honour of Boehmermann’s – even repeating the charge of sex with goats – a decision Heat Street praised enthusiastically.
Douglas Murray of The Spectator, who solicited Johnson’s poem for an anti-Erdogan Limerick contest, noted that Johnson’s entry into the fray put the German authorities in a bind.
— Douglas Murray (@DouglasKMurray) October 4, 2016
Jailing one of their own for something a prominent foreign politician also did would have made them look foolish, and so they thought twice, he argued.
Boehmermann has yet to comment publicly on the decision – but seems to have had his point comprehensively proven.