If someone watched or looked up something online that is offensive to a particular world religion, and he was in an "unfree" country and then he travelled to Germany, would Germany extradite him upon request from the country he was in? What if it was very offensive/blasphemous? Hypothetical question.

  • The fact that someone may reasonably be scared they've broken the law because they've watched a 'blasphemous' video is absolutely terrifying in itself. Jan 8, 2018 at 18:09
  • Well, if someone was in Saudi Arabia or Egypt for instance, or some country which has extradition laws. Could you please give me an answer? Hypothetical question. Jan 8, 2018 at 18:22

1 Answer 1


Germany would not extradite to Saudi Arabia. India and Kuwait might, because they and a few other countries have extradition treaties with KSA. To put this squarely in the realm of illegal (it's not clear that accidentally encountering Shiite material online is a crime in KSA), assume that the person deliberately watched porn then fled to India. Generally speaking, this is a severe enough offense to allow extradition under the India-KSA treaty. However, India gets to review the request for exceptions. Under article 3, the central question is whether this is a political crime. There are enumerated acts that are not deemed to be political. Watching porn is not a listed exception. Accordingly, India could determine that this is a political crime, and refuse to extradite.

If the crime is advocating atheism, however, then under Article 3 (1)(j), this is presumably not an excludable offense, because atheism is officially terrorism in KSA per Royal Decree 44 (I can't find an official copy). On the third hand, India may still reserve the right to apply their definition of terrorism.

Even if there were an extradition treaty between Germany and KSA, German law Act on International Cooperation in Criminal Matters of 23 December 1982 §3(1) would currently preclude extradition because

Extradition shall not be granted unless the offence is an unlawful act under German law or unless mutatis mutandis the offence would also constitute an offence under German law.

There might be acts that are offenses in both countries, but not e.g. "watching porn" or "advocating atheism". The boundaries of blasphemy under German law are not clear to me. Section 166 of the Strafgesetzbuch imposes a maximum of 3 years in prison for blasphemy, so it could be an extraditable offense. Sect. 6 of the "Cooperation" law also sets forth exclusions for reasons of political and religious persecution. Also, KSA would have to assure Germany that the death penalty would not be imposed.

  • Thank you. Just hypothetically, would Germany extradite someone for looking up/watching blasphemy to one of the following countries: Lebanon, Turkey, Algeria (just examples). Your answer would be appreciated. Jan 8, 2018 at 21:25
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    It's not a crime in Germany. No crime in Germany, no extradition.
    – gnasher729
    Jan 8, 2018 at 22:30
  • From Wikipedia: In Germany, religious defamation is covered by Article 166 of the Strafgesetzbuch, the German criminal law. If a deed is capable of disturbing the public peace, defamation is actionable. Jan 8, 2018 at 23:08
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    "Section 166 of the Strafgesetzbuch imposes a maximum of 3 years in prison for blasphemy" I understand that this only applies to public blasphemy which could affect social order, or am I wrong? Please correct me if I'm wrong. Jan 9, 2018 at 8:47
  • @AlexanderA: Yes. §166 StGB explicitly says "publicly or through dissemination of written materials ".
    – sleske
    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:29

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