Germany’s far-right AfD can be put under surveillance

The German far-right populist party, the Alternative for Germany lost a legal battle against the country’s domestic intelligence service and could be put under surveillance.

The largest opposition party in the German parliament, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has lost a legal battle against the country’s domestic intelligence service, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), which categorised the party as a “suspicious entity” and put it under surveillance in March, 2021. The reason for doing so was the party’s increasing radicalisation, especially within its youth organisation, the “Junge Alternative” (JA).

The AfD had taken the matter to court, claiming that the investigation of the BfV was “politically motivated”, arguing that the categorisation would amount to a ban. According to their statement, the controversial extremis group of the party, the „Flügel” (Wing) had already been disbanded two years ago.

Nevertheless, the Administrative Court of Cologne found that there was more than sufficient evidence that the AfD was advocating an anti-constitutional ethnic concept, which the agency considers incompatible with human dignity as guaranteed in the German Basic Law, reports the Deutsche Welle. The judges found that although the “Flügel” has been dissolved, its members still play an active and influential role within the party. Moreover, the „Junge Alternative” (JA) youth organisation of the AfD adhere to xenophobic concepts similar to those of Nazi Germany. Therefore, the court ruled that the domestic intelligence service has the right to surveil the AfD party as part of its remit to monitor extremism.

According to AfD chairman Tino Chrupalla, the party was “surprised” by the verdict and vowed to explore all legal possibilities to appeal it.