Oliver Janich, German right-wing extremist, arrested in Philippines

Right-wing conspiracy theorist Oliver Janich has been living in the Philippines since 2016. (Photo: Der Spiegel)
Right-wing conspiracy theorist Oliver Janich has been living in the Philippines since 2016. (Photo: Der Spiegel)

Oliver Janich, a notorious far-right conspiracy theorist from Germany, has been arrested at a resort on the island of Tablas in Romblon, Philippines on Wednesday (August 17), although details of his arrest are still unclear.

With more than 150,000 individuals subscribed to his Telegram channel, Janich was widely considered one of the most influential and radical conspiracy theorists, he is openly calling for the execution of some members of the federal and state governments in Germany.

The 53-year-old former financial journalist has been based in the Philippines since 2016, where reports say that he’s trying to establish a community of German speakers who shares his ideology.

A public prosecutor in Munich, Germany said that Janich is being investigated for suspicion of criminal insult and public incitement to commit crimes. He was also being investigated in the Philippines for tax evasion, according to a report by a German media outlet Tagesspiegel.

Janich’s arrest sent waves of panic and discontent among German-speaking right-wing circles, with his supporters calling for immediate release and allegedly encouraging people to flood the German Embassy in the Philippines with calls and emails of protest claiming that he was a “political prisoner” who was “kidnapped” in order to be extradited to Germany for “show trial.”

“The problem is: if they deport me, I am not allowed back and my fiancé is pregnant,” Janich was quoted as saying.

Although the Philippines has no extradition treaty with Germany, precedents show that German nationals were deported for alleged offenses in Europe.

Political scientist Josef Holnburger, who is also the managing director of the Center for Monitoring, Analysis and Strategy (CeMAS) and is often the target of Janich’s insults and conspiracies, said that what makes right-wing conspiracy ideologies appealing is that it provides a clear enemy to a perceived existential problem.

“The dangerous thing about conspiracy ideologies is that they provide a clear image of the enemy. Often an anti-semitic image of the enemy,” he said.

“It leads to people seeing violence as an acceptable means of combating the alleged conspiracy,” Holnburger added.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.

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