The German government-owned news broadcaster has launched an investigation into a report that four of its employees and a freelance writer made comments on social media that downplay the Holocaust and promote anti-Semitism.
The five individuals, members of the Arab service of Deutsche Welle, are suspended from their functions until the conclusion of the investigation, announced Friday the press service.
The investigation will be carried out by two independent experts, former German Minister of Justice Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger and psychologist Ahmad Mansour.
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The comments, posted on private social media accounts, surfaced this week in the cover of German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Deutsche Welle requires its employees to abide by a set of ethical principles that include a commitment to Israel’s right to exist and a rejection of anti-Semitism. Comments in Sueddeutsche Zeitung violate these principles, according to Peter Limbourg, CEO of Deutsche Welle.
“Private statements by some DW employees that have been quoted in the press are inconsistent with the values we all stand for at DW,” Limbourg said.
Deutsche Welle said investigators will both look at what happened and recommend ways to prevent similar incidents from happening again.