American satirist and playwright C.J. Hopkins has been sent a “punishment order” and a choice: 60 days or 3,600 Euros.
What is his crime? Essentially, his “crime” is insulting the German health minister in a tweet, and using a scarcely-visible image of a Swastika on a mask in a book critical of the global pandemic response.
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CJ Hopkins is an award-winning playwright, novelist, and political satirist. His political satire and commentary have been published by Consent Factory, OffGuardian, ZeroHedge, ColdType, Rubikon, RT.com, CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, and many other publications, and have been widely translated. He also publishes articles on his Substack page which you can subscribe to and follow HERE.
Last month we reported that CJ Hopkins’ book had been a bestseller – except in Germany. In Germany, it has been banned. In fact, because of it, he is facing criminal charges, and being threatened with a prison sentence or thousands of Eurodollars in fines. Now that threat has been realised with him receiving a “punishment order.”
“The pretext for the charges I am facing is the swastika behind the mask, which, as I noted in a recent essay, is a play on the international bestseller, The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich, by William Shirer, which you can buy in any bookshop in Berlin,” he wrote in early July
Authorities claim that through the use of the mask image, Hopkins was “disseminating propaganda, the contents of which are intended to further the aims of a former National Socialist organisation.”
On 9 August, Hopkins posted on Substack Notes that the Berlin State Prosecutor, which is investigating him for tweeting the cover art for his book as above, is now officially investigating Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters on “suspicion of hate crimes” – for performing songs from the album ‘The Wall’.
Writer C.J. Hopkins Is Ordered to Jail or Pay a Fine for Using Nazi Imagery on Anti-Authoritarianism Book
The following was originally published by Reclaim the Net on 23 August 2023.
In a fresh blow to free speech, American satirist and playwright C.J. Hopkins is facing a legal punishment in Germany that could send him to jail for 60 days or slap him with a 3,600 euro fine. The start of this legal tangle is rooted in Hopkins’ critique of the German health minister and using an almost invisible image of a swastika on a mask in a book, all in an attempt to lampoon the worldwide response to the global pandemic crisis.
Hopkins was charged with disseminating propaganda content intended to further the objectives of an erstwhile National Socialist organisation.
The judge, who had already rejected Hopkins’ free speech argument, delivered the punishment order, given the case’s non-jury misdemeanour status. As reported by Racket News, Hopkins will, however, have the opportunity to argue for mitigation, though judgment has already been passed.
Despite the complicated legal conundrum he’s entwined in, it’s hard to imagine that Hopkins’ satirical portrayals align with an effort to promote the agenda of Nazism when the point of the work is critical of authoritarianism.
This trend, as Hopkins asserts, opens up a dangerous path toward broad-based censorship.
Racket News, an independent news platform, has pledged to support Hopkins financially when the case reaches its final verdict.
But the battle is not over for Hopkins. In a triumphant display of undying resilience, he highlighted the importance of his case and its wider significance: it’s not just about him, it’s about the relentless pursuit of freedom of speech that seems to be losing ground.
Read the interview with Hopkins on Racket News HERE.
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