Neo-Nazi group is banned
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Germany's decision to ban one of the country's largest neo-Nazi organisations has been welcomed by Jewish leaders and Holocaust survivors, who hope for further crackdowns on the far-right.
German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said Wednesday that HNG - "national organisation for political prisoners and their relatives" - purports to help criminals become productive members of society, but actually seeks to strengthen the ties of young criminals to far-right groups.
"Banning that terrible organisation, is an important, overdue step and a success in our democratic fight against right-wing extremists," said Dieter Graumann, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.
Mr Graumann, who also advocates banning the extreme right-wing National Democratic Party of Germany, added that it is "high time to… adopt a harder line in terms of [combating] anti-democratic forces".
A series of raids on HNG cells
followed today's ban and incriminating evidence was seized at locations in several former West German states.
Mr Friedrich said the federal government had to stop the HNG from further "radicalisation of the neo-Nazi scene".