The founder of Germany’s xenophobic and anti-Islamic Pegida movement went on trial Tuesday on hate speech charges for allegedly branding refugees “cattle” and “scum” on social media.

Lutz Bachmann, founder of the far-right “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident” movement, was charged in October with inciting racial hatred through a series of widely-shared Facebook posts.

The trial was held under tight security in Dresden in the former communist east, the birthplace of Pegida, which bitterly opposes Chancellor Angela Merkel’s liberal migration policy that brought more than one million asylum seekers to Germany last year.

The court said the 43-year-old’s comments, which date back to September 2014, constituted an “attack on the dignity” of refugees.

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