The original, groundbreaking ruling was handed down against German Turk Taylan Can (24) in January for incitement to hatred against a segment of the population.
Judge Gauri Sastry said Can’s use of the word “Zionist” at a protest against Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip was a “code for Jew,” and therefore counted as incitement against an ethnic minority.
The protest where Can shouted the slogans was held in July 2014, during the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Protesters at the rally were also seen giving Nazi salutes. According to German newspaper Die Welt, at least 49 criminal complaints were filed, though 45 were later dismissed by police. The report also said that the anti-Israel demonstrators attacked members of a counter-protest.
Can argued at the Essen court in January that while his hatred toward Zionists was real, it was not explicitly directed against Jews, a claim which the court ultimately denied.
The German law for incitement against a segment against the population is often used in conjunction with cases concerning Holocaust denial.