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Austrian identitarians go on trial

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Austrian identitarians go on trial

Post Neon Knight on Fri 6 Jul - 0:51

https://www.thelocal.at/20180704/austrian-far-right-militants-go-on-trial-on-racism-charges  Quoting:

Members of an Austrian far-right movement went on trial in the southern city of Graz on Wednesday on charges of belonging to a "criminal organisation" dedicated to "spreading racist ideology." On trial are 10 leaders and seven members of the hard-right nationalist Identitarian Movement of Austria (IBOe) who have been charged with incitement to hatred and damaging property as well as provocative behaviour aimed at spreading racist ideology.

Prosecutors notably cited an incident in 2016 when they broke into the local branch of the Green Party in Graz and unfurled a banner on the roof reading: "Islamisation kills." A year later, they carried out a similar stunt on the roof of the Turkish embassy in Vienna, unfurling a banner addressing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which said: "Erdogan, take your Turks home." Prosecutors have accused the group of "profiting from the growing fear within Austrian society of radical Islamist terror attacks to link Islam in general to Islamist terror and Muslims to potential terrorists."

Since December, Austria has been governed by a right-wing coalition made up of the conservative Austrian People's Party and the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe). Although FPOe leaders have on occasion spoken out against the actions of the IBOe, several media outlets have documented links in some areas between the two.


https://www.generation-identity.org.uk/generation-identity-austria-in-court-on-politically-motivated-charges/  Quoting:

Today, the eagerly awaited trial of 17 activists from Generation Identity Austria (IBÖ) began at the Regional Criminal Court in Graz. There is still widespread incomprehension regarding how it got this far in the first place.

The first day of the trial marks the start of a legal marathon, with a total of 19 court hearings to be held in July. The activists are accused, among other things, of forming a criminal organisation, incitement to hatred and property damage. The trial is also possible due to an amendment to the law in 2015 which explicitly included hate crimes as an offence that could be perpetrated by a criminal organisation.

The former president of the Austrian Supreme Court of Justice (OGH) and now MP for the liberal Austrian party NEOS, Irmgard Griss . . . sharply criticised the prosecution. If, as in the present case, it is purely about the dissemination of ideas, she considers the prosecution as a criminal association “too sharp a sword”. One would have to be careful not to punish people for their beliefs by “breaking a butterfly on a wheel” . . .

mmediately after the announcement of the indictment, several well-known journalists criticised the intended use of a law intended to combat organised crime. Soon after that, certain politicians also voiced their objections. The spokesman on legal matters of the Austrian Freedom Party, Harald Stefan, perceived the actions of the prosecutor as “incomprehensible” and said that democracy must “endure so much” [activism], Die Tagesstimme reported . . .

In the opinion of some critics of the prosecutor, the forms of action used by Generation Identity Austria do not differ significantly from those of other NGOs such as Greenpeace. A conviction, in this case, could, therefore have far-reaching consequences for the culture of political protest in Austria. A few years ago, however, a much-publicised lawsuit against ten animal rights activists belonging to the Association against Animal Factories (VGT) under this paragraph ended with all defendants being acquitted.

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Re: Austrian identitarians go on trial

Post Jehan I on Sun 8 Jul - 14:33

I was thinking the austrian president is from the far right?
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Re: Austrian identitarians go on trial

Post Neon Knight on Sun 8 Jul - 22:25

@Jehan I wrote:I was thinking the austrian president is from the far right?
I think Sebastian Kurz and his party are traditional conservatives, but their coalition partners, the Freedom Party, are more 'hard right' and anti-immigration.

"Among other things, the party supports the unification of South Tyrol (Italy) with Tyrol (Austria), and, therefore, the South Tyrolean secessionist movement, which notably includes its South Tyrolean sister party Die Freiheitlichen." - Wikipedia

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Re: Austrian identitarians go on trial

Post OsricPearl on Tue 10 Jul - 20:42

This is sad news. A bad sign for Austria.
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Re: Austrian identitarians go on trial

Post Neon Knight on Wed 1 Aug - 23:30

https://www.tagesstimme.com/2018/07/27/the-identitarian-movement-on-trial-the-reasons-they-were-acquitted/  Quoting:

On Thursday morning, the verdicts were announced at the trial of GI Austria in Graz. All defendants were acquitted on the main charges. The reasoning given for this verdict is in itself remarkable.

On the tenth and final day of the trial held in the city of Graz against 17 activists and sympathisers of Generation Identity Austria (IBÖ), everything revolved around the judge’s verdict. All the defendants – 16 men and one woman – were found not guilty of forming a criminal organisation (Section 278 of the Austrian Criminal Code) nor hate speech (Section 283). As the Tagesstimme reported earlier, just two of the group were sentenced to pay a fine for property damage and assault.

The judge gave his reasons for acquitting the defendants by establishing, among other things, that the content of the contested claims could be interpreted in more than one way. The banner on the rooftop of the Green Party HQ in Graz did not constitute a criticism of Islam, but of the policies of the Green Party and of radical Islam. Concerning the action in Klagenfurt, the judge argued that the defendants, too, had merely pointed out the dangers of political and radical Islam, which indeed was made clear at the time of the action. A slogan declaring integration to be a lie must therefore be understood as being directed against “misguided policies”, and not against integration per se.

As the criteria for the offence of ‘hate speech’ had therefore not been met, this would also be applicable in the question of forming a criminal organisation: “If an organisation carries out actions which are legitimate in the eyes of the law, then it is not a criminal organisation, even if offences may result from it”, the judge stated. Property damage on its own doesn’t constitute GI Austria being a criminal organisation, the judge concluded. According to the law, property damage has to go beyond a certain threshold for an organisation’s ability to be classified as a criminal organisation.

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