Seven Muslim members of the group "Sharia Police" have been acquitted by a German court on Monday, 21 November, after it was found that the men had not broken laws against political uniforms.
Judges at Wuppertal's district court said that the group has not done anything illegal. The court ruled that they could only have broken the laws if the vests bearing the words "Sharia police" – which the men were wearing - were "suggestively militant or intimidating", a court spokesman said.
The spokesman added that in this case their orange colored vests were not threatening, and that Wuppertal police did not find anything punishable about the men wearing that particular dress. So, it made no sense to punish these seven men, the court said.
In December 2015, the same court had thrown out a case against the Islamist group, citing they did not break any law and will not be prosecuted. But it was overruled on an appeal by a higher court which felt the ban on uniforms could be applied in this case.
Monday's ruling is not yet final and the state prosecutor can still appeal against it.
The "Sharia Police" group had caused a tumult in September 2014 when they patrolled the streets of Wuppertal and demanded that people stop drinking, gambling and listening to music.
Led by German Salafi convert Sven Lau, the unit members dressed in orange hi-visibility vests also scolded night clubbers for drinking alcohol, in an attempt to enforce their hard line interpretation of Islam. Lau, who is a controversial Islamist preacher, is facing prosecution for supporting an Isis-linked terror group in Syria.
Meanwhile, reports claimed that similar kind of "Sharia Police" by ultra-conservative Muslim men have also been seen in other European cities such as London, Copenhagen and Hamburg.