Geneva's cantonal government has ordered a political party to change posters for a vote on expelling foreign criminals which depict the Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi.
The government says the Geneva citizens' movement posters are an outrage against a foreign state.
They say it also complicates "efforts to restore a climate of trust” between Switzerland and Libya, where relations have been strained since the arrest of Gaddafi’s son in Geneva in 2008.
The posters show lists of daily arrests by Geneva police and the slogan “the hidden truth”. A photo of Gaddafi is on the lower right section of the poster with the words “he wants to destroy Switzerland”.
But the president of the party, Eric Stauffer, says the posters are a valid form of freedom of expression. “Until I receive a decision from a court, I will not move one iota,” he said, adding that he would appeal the decision if necessary.
The party has printed 450 of the posters and 15,000 flyers. The posters have not yet gone on display.
The person responsible for the posters has also been reported to the Attorney General and the Geneva prosecution service, the cantonal government said in a statement.
The Geneva citizens' movement is campaigning for the automatic expulsion of foreign criminals who commit serious crimes, an issue that goes to a nationwide vote on November 28.
The vote was the result of an initiative by the rightwing Swiss People’s Party.
swissinfo.ch and agencies