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Political violence Threats targeting Swiss parliament multiply

An example of one of the threats made in 2016 was an anonymous letter promising to blow up the parliament building and kill everyone inside. Fortunately, the culprit's fingerprints led to his arrest.

(Keystone)

The number of threats of violence made to Swiss parliamentarians and other government officials reached 1,700 in 2016, compared to just 105 in 2012, Swiss police say.

According to the Swiss Federal Office of Police (Fedpol), the tally of recorded threats of violence aimed at parliamentarians and other officials working in the parliament building in the Swiss capital of Bern quintupled between 2014 and 2015 alone. The figures were published Sunday by the Schweiz am Wochenende newspaper.

To explain the increase, the police point to the elections of 2015external link as well as the migration crisis as possible aggravating factors. The fact that parliamentary debates are becoming more and more polarised could also be behind the increase in these kinds of “reactions”, the police said.

At the same time, Fedpol said that law enforcement is becoming increasingly sensitive to such threats. The office stated that additional security measures have been ordered in response to this increase, and that it encourages all federal offices to contact them if any threats are received. The police presence at the parliament building is already supplemented by private security personnel armed with pepper spray.

swissinfo.ch and agencies/cl

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