Masked protests should be banned

Masking ban: when and where does it apply?

In German constitutional state the citizen enjoys many privileges. This is considered one of the most important freedoms Right to assembly and peaceful demonstrationas it is in Article 8 of the Basic Law (GG) stands. But also there must Laws and rules must be observed, such as the Assembly Act (VersG) prescribes. This also includes the ban on masking.

But again and again this law leads to Confusions. Where is it used? What is a Disguise? Which arguments speak for and which speak against it Masking ban in Germany?

In this guide you can find out at which events the ban on masking is applied and how masking is defined.

FAQ: No masking

What is the purpose of a ban on masking?

A masking ban is intended to ensure that offenders or people who commit an administrative offense can be identified.

When does a masking ban apply in Germany?

You can read about the current state of the ban on masking in Germany here.

What is it like in other countries?

Here you can read whether there is a general ban on masking in other countries.

Legal basis for the ban on masking

Despite the Freedom of assemblythat the government must grant the citizens, it is still through the state lawin dutyto secure the peace. A large gathering of people with the set goal of showing indignation can escalate relatively quickly and become one Threat to public peace become.

The police see it as a consequence than necessary offenses in the course of a demonstration to be able to document. It is also necessary to contact the people concerned to be able to identifyto enough in hindsight proofs for criminal prosecution to have.

This is how one justifies itself Masking ban in Germany so that the desire for successful criminal prosecution outweighs the desire for anonymity in this case. In addition, there was a disguise by theirs martial appearance not an expression of a peaceful demonstration.

Article 8 paragraph 1 of Basic Law (GG) states:

All Germans have the right to assemble peacefully and without weapons without registration or permission.
So if a mask is a sign against peacefulness, it is not compatible with the right to demonstrate.

Not all lawyers agree with this legal opinion match. Some even see it as one General suspicionspread over the protesters. Despite its nationwide distribution, the ban on masking remains controversial and not without critics.

In addition, Article 8 paragraph 2 in the Basic Law (GG) states that Meetings in the open air can be restricted by laws. This makes it possible to use the laws Framework conditions for meetings to be determined.

Disguise in public

Since everyone is free to dress, as it is your own wish, there is neither a masking law in Germany nor a general ban on masking. For various situations, however, the legislature sees it as necessary that Make people identifiable. Then a disguise can Sanctions entail.

Such situations are for example:

  • public events
  • Participation in road traffic

In contrast to a demonstration becomes the justified for the participants in a public event Desire for anonymity not awarded. As a consequence, masking is required at such events unjustifiable and can be tracked. There is a ban on masking if the masquerade is not part of the event, such as in carnival.

A disguise can be any objectwhich is suitable for a To make identification difficult or to prevent. Examples of this are shawls, (full) veils, hate masks and scarves.

The confusion about the terms Demonstration and public event always leads to tension, as both a different legal status enjoy. Unfortunately, this can lead to confusion often not resolved before a judge decides the individual case.

The ban on masking in other countries

The ban on masking is for various reasons also discussed at international level. Various Human rights organizations see this as a limitation and - especially with the modern means of digital identification - one Undermining the freedom to demonstrate.

In other countries would be Demonstrations against the ruling regime impossible without disguise. In totalitarian states that is Use of cameras and face recognition a common method to deliberately pull critics and leaders of the opposition out of circulation. Without the nationwide Use of disguises would be the demonstrations in the Arab Spring unthinkable been.

It is generally forbidden Full veiling in public EU-wide only in Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, Latvia, Bulgaria. In public spaces, this also includes religious clothing such as the burqa or niqab.

In the countries of the EU is a No masking at public events or demonstrations quite common. In some countries, however, was also wearing religious veils in public spaces forbidden. Officially, it will be frequent security reasons specified, there also such a Identification no longer possible at any time is.

Effect of the ban on masking

The Effects of the ban on masking has been examined many times and a paradoxical effect to be established. During the prohibition of disguise secure public peace should, it is often the situations in which this regulation is to be enforced in which the spiral of violence escalates.

The left-wing extremist scene in particular is known to appear masked, whereby all extreme and radical currents have an interest in not being recognized.

At this point you stand again two equally weighted arguments across from. On the one hand it seems Assessment of the law enforcement officers right and from the masked people a criminally relevant danger emanates, which shows up every time the masked ones be taken up. Because often shows how the hooded with violence defend yourself if you do removed from the demonstration should be.

Argue on the other hand Organizers and human rights activiststhat it is only these accesses that do violence for the masked demonstrators become an option. In addition, masking is a legitimate means of self-protection in the course of monitoring and data retention.

What speaks against a ban on masking

Sound Arguments for a disguise exist. So can the participant in a demonstration become a goalif the key message of the demonstration, for example, for the employer not opportune is.

Despite the legal protection cases are repeatedly reported in which citizens after the Participation in a demonstration Have experienced disadvantages in the workplace or even in the open were attacked.

These arguments are from the legislature mostly - with reference to the legal Protection of demonstrators before repression - rejected. Because the Basic Law protects with the freedom of speech also the participants of a demonstration possible negative consequences. For example, it is forbidden to hire an employee because of his expressed opinion to disadvantage. The control of this requirement can easily be bypassed by another reason advanced becomes.

This is how it works Disguise prohibition not always in the interests of the demonstrators. As in all acute legal questions, there is also a ban on masking in Germany Weighing of legal interests performed. That almost always predominates Interest in law enforcement. That happened to them too Riots at the G20 summit in Hamburg when the police decided, masked but otherwise peaceful demonstrators from the demonstration. As in many other cases, the situation then escalated and it came to the riots that internationally in the media were to be seen.

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Masking ban: when and where does it apply?
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