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Germany beefs up anti-Nazi laws

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Germany beefs up anti-Nazi laws

Germany's parliament has tightened restrictions on neo-Nazi marches to keep them away from sensitive memorials such as former concentration camps.

The changes make it easier for local authorities to ban such gatherings.

The new curbs target a planned march by the far right National Democratic Party (NPD) at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, near a new Holocaust memorial.

The 8 May march would coincide with the 60th anniversary of Germany's capitulation in World War II.

Germany's upper house of parliament still has to approve the changes.

But the government says it is determined to get them in place in time to prevent neo-Nazi demonstrations overshadowing the official May ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary.

Support for NPD

Last month, thousands of neo-Nazis marched through Dresden on the 60th anniversary of the allied bombing of the city.

It was one of the biggest far-right demonstrations in Germany's post-war history.

Last year the NPD won 9% of the vote in Saxony, giving it seats in a German state assembly for the first time since 1968.

Germany already has laws to restrict neo-Nazi propaganda and Nazi symbols are banned.

On Thursday, Germany's highest court upheld a ruling that a neo-Nazi rock band was a criminal organisation whose songs spread racial hatred.

The German Constitutional Court rejected an appeal by the band's former lead singer, Michael Regener, against his three-year prison sentence.

Two years ago a Berlin court found the rock group Landser - meaning "foot soldiers" - guilty of spreading hatred of Jewish people and foreigners in Germany.

Landser's CDs included The Reich Will Rise Again and Get The Enemy.

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/worl...ope/4339983.stm

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