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Hitler salute and swastika remain legal

Two organisations have criticised the government’s decision at the end of June not to ban the swastika and the Nazi salute in Switzerland.

The federal commission against racism and the foundation against racism and anti-Semitism say they will continue to fight for a ban, in order to ensure Switzerland does not turn into a European refuge for rightwing extremist material.

The Hitler salute, the swastika and other rightwing extremist symbols may still be displayed, hoarded or sold in Switzerland.

During the consultation process, a minority of people consulted believed a ban on rightwing and neo-Nazi symbols, gestures and emblems would be difficult to implement. The two organisations criticised the government for backing this argument and ignoring the views of a majority in favour of a ban.

On Tuesday a statement said it was “extremely regrettable” that the situation would remain unchanged.

“This delay in improving protection against rightwing extremism in Switzerland is even more deplorable in view of the constant tightening of laws regarding foreigners and asylum seekers and the efforts of neighbouring countries to strengthen legislation against rightwing extremism.”

Public displays of the swastika are illegal – with a few exceptions, for example for academic reasons – in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland and Brazil.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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