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A Social menace Swiss 'rightwing extremists' are armed and visible

police and crossed out swastica
(Keystone)

The SonntagsBlick has published a report showing the extent to which "rightwing extremists" are publicly displaying themselves in Switzerland.

The weekly newspaper published photographs of xenophobes trumpeting their views and identities on social networks. Their tattoos leave little room for doubt about their political inclinations. Neither are the symbols, flags or slogans they wield.

Rightwing extremists are keeping anything but a low profile in Switzerland.

A member of the far-right Swiss Nationalist Party PNOS (Partei National Orientierter Schweizer) even celebrated the white supremacist attack against Muslim worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand, which killed 50 people and wounded dozens, according to the report.

Swiss far-right individuals, according to the newspaper, are armed and ready to use violence. But, unlike Islamists, they are not on the radar of the authorities.

Switzerland’s intelligence services cannot take strict surveillance measures against neo-Nazis tattooed with swastikas and posing with weapons because these people are classified as violent extremists rather than terrorists.

For example, an armed Islamist who is enthusiastic about the exploits of the Islamic State group on social networks can be tapped, or his mail and computer controlled, since his actions are classified as terrorist, notes the newspaper.

On the other hand, a neo-Nazi posing with a machine gun and praising Anders Breivik, the man who committed the 2011 Norway attacks, cannot be monitored in the same way.

Pointing to the recent Christchurch massacre, the SonntagsBlick considers it a “fatal error” that “a right-wing extremist cannot be a terrorist” in the eyes of the Swiss government.

"It is to be feared that, even in Switzerland, a rightwing activist active on the Internet will one day exchange his keyboard for an assault rifle,” writes the newspaper.

Troubling trend Anti-Jewish conspiracy theories make a comeback

Last year, cases of anti-Semitism rose in French-speaking Switzerland. The phenomenon is also noticeable in the German-speaking part of the country.


SDA-Keystone/ds

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SWI swissinfo.ch on Instagram

SWI swissinfo.ch on Instagram

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