A coalition of non-government organisations and community groups is calling for messages of racism to be driven out of political electioneering.
An initiative of around 20 religious, unions and community groups, the ‘Fair Play’ campaign invites people to sign an online petition calling for messages of racism, defamation and exclusion to be absent from political campaign.
The petition is also open to those people who are not eligible to vote in October’s national elections. The campaign is hoping to collect 50,000 signatures before the October 23 federal elections.
Analysis of the 2007 election campaign revealed a high level of defamatory messages, according to the coalition.
Immigrants in particular were defamed by political parties as the reason for all the social and economic problems of the country, president of the Forum for the Integration of Migrants Emine Sariaslan said.
“A campaign which excludes, stigmatises, or criminalises certain people because of their nationality, language or religious affiliation, fuels conflict and does nothing to advance the political debate,” Sariaslan said.
swissinfo.ch and agencies