Europe

Angela Merkel chided in Germany for Bin Laden 'joy'

  • 4 May 2011
  • From the section Europe
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Image caption Mrs Merkel has been accused of rejoicing in the killing

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has come under criticism for the way she welcomed the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Mrs Merkel said: "I'm pleased that we managed to kill Bin Laden", and called his death "a victory".

Some prominent Christians have accused her of rejoicing at the killing.

A Green Party member of parliament, Katrin Goering-Eckardt, said: "As a Christian, I can only say that there is no reason to celebrate when someone is killed intentionally."

A prominent member of Mrs Merkel's own party, the Christian Democrats, told Bavarian Radio that revenge was "medieval".

Siegfried Kauder, the chairman of parliament's legal affairs committee, also asked whether it was an "arbitrary killing" - which he said would be against human rights conventions.

'Execution?'

The views were echoed by other Christians across the German political spectrum.

There is also a view on the left that Bin Laden was targeted for death and not arrest.

As Berlin's left-wing newspaper, the Tageszeitung, puts it: "Is the killing of the terrorist leader covered by international law. Or is it an illegal execution?"

Germany's foreign minister was much quieter in tone than Chancellor Merkel. He warned against excessive public joy in the West, lest it incite reaction or glorify al-Qaeda.