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Prosecutor pursues SVP chiefs over 'racist' ad

Lyssandra Sears · 24 Apr 2012, 17:41

Published: 24 Apr 2012 10:08 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Apr 2012 17:41 GMT+02:00

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A Zurich prosecutor has initiated criminal proceedings against some of the top figures in the far-right Swiss People’s Party (SVP) for infringement of anti-racism laws.

Last August, an incendiary advertisement claiming that “Kosovars slash the Swiss” was released as part of the SVP’s campaign to "stop mass immigration". Two Kosovar people made public complaints about the ads on the grounds that they discriminated against an entire ethnic group.

A criminal investigation was then launched in October last year, online news site 20 Minuten reported.

The ad described an incident, which took place on August 15th 2011 at Interlaken, a tourist resort in the Bernese Alps. According to news reports, a Kosovar man attempted to kill a Swiss Alpine wrestler by cutting his throat with a knife.

Some newspapers refused to publish the ad in its original form but agreed to go to press with a toned down version that read: "A Kosovar slashes a Swiss". However, the original ad was widely distributed online by the SVP as part of its initiative.

Now Zurich prosecutor Hans Maurer is opening criminal proceedings against some of the SVP’s top politicians for infringement of Switzerland's anti-racism laws. Those listed in the proceedings include the SVP’s president Toni Brunner, vice president Christoph Blocher and parliamentary leader Adrian Amstutz.

Maurer now wants to find out how the party arrived at the controversial text.

It is possible that several of those implicated will seek to rely on parliamentary immunity, which prevents a politician from having to answer charges where he can show a link between his work as a parliamentarian and the issue in question.

Christoph Blocher, who is already seeking immunity for his involvement in the affair that led to the resignation of former central bank chief Philipp Hildebrand, will probably not be able to make use of it in this case because he had no parliamentary mandate at the time in question.

Story continues below…

David Gibor, the lawyer for the complainants, believes the ad should have immediately been taken down, and is disappointed that it is still visible on the SVP website.

"All members of the initiative committee are well aware of the nationwide outrage and, after the criminal complaint was made, of the potentially criminal content of the advertisement,” Gibor told the newspaper.

Lyssandra Sears (news@thelocal.ch)

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Your comments about this article

2012-04-25 14:36:38 by HoppSuisse
Blaming the victims for violence does not solve anything Asteriks.

Poverty does not excuse violence.
There are many poor people in the world who are not violent.

Peoples who have a different value system then ours should not come here to live with us.
We do not tolerate honor killings of our wives and daughters.
We do not tolerate our children bringing knives to school or solving differences through fighting.
We do not tolerate violence and theft.

Look around you Asteriks, you will see many peoples who have come from many different races to live here with us.
Look at the prisons and see who is filling them up.

All are welcome who will contribute to the society and who will respect our value systems and laws.
All others will be happier returning to their own home lands where they can live in their own value systems.

2012-04-25 11:02:58 by asteriks
If Swiss behave normal with immigrants there would be no violent attacks. HoppSuise doesn't speak the truth, equality is far away from Swiss politics, just check working permissions for foreigners/Auslaender. Criminality is result of racism, you refused to give job to immigrants and consequently they had to do something criminal in order to survive. Crowd of immigrants are homeless in Swiss because of racist job market.
2012-04-24 16:59:25 by HoppSuisse
It is not racist to not want to live with people who have a different value system and which is against our values.
Our prisons are full of such peoples (75% sind Auslander).

We highly value life, family, love, freedom, equality, etc .
We do not solve problems with violence, dishonesty, abusing women and children, etc.

We need to have a special investigation into who is behind this political attack on SVP.

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