The protesters called for an end to violence against women after five women were assaulted by a group of men outside a Geneva nightclub in the early hours of Wednesday August 8th.
All five women were taken to hospital. Two of the women sustained serious injuries and one of the women remains in hospital, according to Swiss daily NZZ. It is not known if her injuries are life-threatening. Other media outlets described her as being in a coma.
Around 200 protesters took to the streets in Geneva on the evening of the attack, while groups of between 100 and 200 people protested on Sunday in Lausanne, Bern, Basel and Zurich after demonstrations were organised by the Young Socialists and other women’s groups.
One of the protest organisers, Natascha Wey with the Socialists, called for a national debate on gender roles and sexism and for more focus on prevention in the fight against violence.
Meanwhile, the attack led to an angry confrontation on Twitter. After Socialist national councillor Carlo Sommaruga described the attacks as “not worthy” of international Geneva and called for measures to prevent such violence, Gerhard Pfister, the president of Switzerland’s Christian Democrats party described his political opponent as a “hypocrite” and an “anti-Semite” – a reference to Sommaruga’s backing of a boycott of Israeli products.
Pfister later apologized for his choice of words and for attacking Sommaruga personally.
Investigators continue to search for the men behind the vicious attack last week. Authorities say no arrests have been made at this stage but have provided no further details.