The author of crime novels about cats has become a troublemaker and has to go to prison. Hate speakers like him must be held accountable.

Akif Pirincci is sitting in the living room and looking at his smartphone.

Akif Pirinçci here in the Bonn district court room on December 13, 2023 has to go to prison Photo: Federico Gambarini/dpa

He was once a respected author of a successful book series: Akif Pirinçci and his cat crime novels. But that was a long time ago and now the Bonn district court has sentenced him to nine months in prison for hate speech.

Not surprisingly, Pirinçci has been closely linked to the far-right scene for years and is a welcome author in relevant media such as young freedom, strangely free either Secession. He appeared on Pegida and is a guest on AfD.

Now he is better known for his hateful, misogynistic and homophobic theses. He described the refugees as foreign “invaders” and spoke of how “fabulously fat” young men sprayed their “Muslim juice” on “our women.” He spoke of “our shitty government” (at that time the grand coalition) and denigrated a gender teacher as “akin to ass shit.”

He has already been convicted several times for similar statements: in 2017, for a hate speech by Pegida and for a sexist comment on Facebook about climate activist Luisa Neubauer. Since Pirinçci did not pay the 6,000 euros in compensation, Neubauer quickly had this sum confiscated from her account in 2022.

He doesn't seem to see this as a punishment or a lesson. Or rather, he doesn't want to. In 2017, during the trial following his Pegida statements, when the Dresden district judge asked him what he had learned from the trial, he replied: “Nothing!”

Now you could say: The man is now completely out of his depth, leave him there, he will never come to his senses again. But you can't do it that easy.

If you label hate speech speakers as “insanity,” you deny them responsibility for their actions. But they know exactly what they are doing and therefore rightly feel the power of the judicial system. On the other hand, there is the tough fight for democratic spaces that seems to have barely begun.