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Campaign raises awareness of racism in bars

A government advisory group has called for increased efforts to combat racial discrimination in public places, including bars and nightclubs.

This content was published on May 7, 2009 - 15:57

It comes after an incident in a bar in the capital, Bern, where a guest was denied entry because he was not a holder of a Swiss passport.

The Federal Anti-Racism Commission on Thursday presented a leaflet to raise awareness among barkeepers, security personnel and police.

Barring people for racial, ethnic, religious reasons or because they are foreigners is against the law.

However, security personnel are allowed to prevent troublemakers from entering premises, experts said on Thursday.

The campaign is supported by the entertainment industry, security associations, the local authorities of Bern, integration specialists and victims pressure groups.

"The problem is not limited to Bern. No exact figures on such incidents are available, but there are many and also unknown cases," said Georg Kreis of the Anti-Racism Commission.

The campaigners said they hoped that other cities and towns in Switzerland
would follow suit, and encouraged victims to seek a court ruling to establish legal standards on the issue.

Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch

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