The house of the leader of the right-wing populist party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) in the state of Thuringia was searched by police officers on Saturday. Björn Höcke is suspected of sedition against refugees and migrants.
According to German media, the prosecution has been investigating Höcke for over a year. The immediate cause was a photograph that the politician posted on Facebook of the German captain Carola Rackete. He works for the Sea-Watch rescue organization. “I imported torture, sexual violence, human trafficking and murder.” The prosecution says that Höcke meant that refugees are guilty of this and he wanted to incite people against migrants.
The AfD in Thuringia and Höcke have been regarded as extremist by the prosecutor since 11 May.
The spokesman for the AFD reacted angry to the search. “The search of the President of the strongest opposition party in Thuringia is another low point in the abuse of justice against unwanted political opinions.” According to the spokesman, the Facebook post falls under the freedom of expression.
Höcke is the founder of the extreme right branch of AfD, der Flügel. That movement has now been lifted but would still have a lot of influence within the party.