A "Z" can simply be a letter, but in the meantime it can also be a support symbol for Russia's illegal attack on Ukraine. The police and judiciary carefully examine each individual case. An example from Halle shows how tricky that can be.
Magdeburg/Halle (dpa/sa) - The "Z" symbol as support for the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has already been noted many times in Saxony-Anhalt. Between February 24 and May 23, it was registered 46 times as an endorsement of criminal offenses, the Ministry of the Interior announced in Magdeburg on Wednesday. In addition, seven public statements, contributions or actions were identified that suggested sympathy or glorification of the Russian war of aggression. In the area of the Magdeburg Police Inspectorate (PI) there were 20 criminal charges in this connection, the Dessau-Roßlau PI recorded 16 cases, the Stendal PI 11 and the Halle PI 6.
"In Saxony-Anhalt we do not allow any glorification or even approval of the illegal Russian war of aggression against the free, sovereign state of Ukraine," said Interior Minister Tamara Zieschang (CDU). "Any actions, statements or symbols that already express approval of the Russian war of aggression are criminal offenses and are also consistently investigated and prosecuted by the state police." Corresponding symbols would be removed immediately and not even allowed at meetings.
The "Z" is used by the Russian armed forces and in Russian politics and the public as a sign of the war of aggression that violates international law, the Interior Ministry said. The symbol also stands for possible war crimes. Anyone who shows the "Z" publicly in connection with the Russian war of aggression must expect a preliminary investigation. To do this, however, it must also be clear from the overall context that this is intended to express approval or approval of the Russian war of aggression. The public prosecutor's offices and courts are responsible for the legal assessment.
An example from Halle shows how tricky the cases can be: According to the Ministry of the Interior, at the end of April, the police station in Halle prohibited, among other things, the person who had registered for a meeting on the subject of "Against discrimination against lemonade" from T-shirts with the white imprint "mmmhhh Z- to use lemonade". The "Z" was printed oversized. The Higher Administrative Court of the State of Saxony-Anhalt confirmed the legality of this meeting requirement.