German Justice Ministry plans criminalization of upskirting

Berlin (dpa) – German Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht said Thursday that she plans to present a law that would make upskirting – the practice of taking pictures of a person under their skrit – a criminal offence, the minister said.”Those pictures are sold, distributed online, that just cannot be,” Lambrecht said during a budget debate in the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament. Currently, upskirting is considered a misdemeanour in Germany. It is only considered a criminal offence if the victim is additionally insulted or physically touched. If the picture damages the victim’s reputation, the offender can also be given a fine or up to two years in prison.

Lambrecht told German broadcaster RND this classification does not make it clear to perpetrators that their “humiliating and degrading beviour” is unacceptable. The German states Rhineland Palatinate, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria and North Rhine Westphalia have already said they planned to present a similar law, which would go before the upper house, the Bundesrat, this month. Two young women also launched an online petition to have upskirting criminalized, which has received support from 90,000 people so far. In other countries, such as England and Wales, upskirting is more harshly punished, and offenders can be given up to two years and prison and have to be registered as sexual offenders.

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