Senior Fellow David Werdermann is assisting in a freedom of speech case against a far-right politician. Bjeen Alhassan, a Kurdish woman from Syria, is being sued by her former master’s degree advisor for speaking out in German media about his racist behavior. He is the local chairman of a local right-wing party. In 2020, she received the National Integration prize for her project, “Learning with Bijin – Empowerment of Syrian Women in Germany.” This program, which is run on Facebook, helps Arabic and Kurdish speaking women integrate into German society.
Her old advisor, Professor Reiner Osbild, is suing her for speaking about his alleged discriminatory practices. His political party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), opposes immigration and calls for a ban on refugees from the Middle East. He has also previously been accused of making racist comments at refugees. However, his lawyers are claiming that Bjeen Alhassan was justifying the “poor result of her master’s thesis by accusing the professor of racism.” Osbild is attempting to claim that his rights were violated.
Senior Fellow David Werdermann, Alhassan’s lawyer, sees this court case as an example of how AfD tries to intimidate and silence their critics through court cases.
“Discrimination against immigrants is an issue of great public interest, especially when it occurs at state universities. Those affected must be able to talk about it publicly without fear of being sued. Refugees also have a right to freedom of speech.” – David Werdermann to Kurdistan 24
Read the full article in English here.
Read the article in German here.