German far-right AfD first party put under surveillance since Nazi era

www.reuters.com
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Germany's BfV domestic intelligence service has formally placed the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) under surveillance on suspicion of trying to undermine Germany's democratic constitution, a person briefed on the move said on Wednesday.
BERLIN (Reuters) -

FILE PHOTO: Bjoern Hoecke (C) congratulates Andre Poggenburg of the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party as Andreas Kalbitz (R) applauds after the first local elections polls in Magdeburg, Germany March 13, 2016. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

After four years ago becoming the first avowedly anti-immigrant party to enter the German parliament, the AfD now becomes the first party to be monitored in this way since the Nazi era ended in 1945.

It was propelled into the Bundestag in 2017 by voters angry with Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to welcome more than one million migrants. But it has been ostracised by other parties, which say its rhetoric contributes to an atmosphere of hatred that encourages violence against immigrants.

The BfV's move follows a two-year review of the AfD's political platform, and will allow the agency to eavesdrop on calls and conversations involving AfD members and scrutinise party funding.

A spokeswoman for the BfV declined to comment, citing a court case brought by the AfD, but…
Andreas Rinke
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