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Right-wing extremist attacks in Switzerland have doubled

Youths between the ages of 16 and 22 form the biggest group in Switzerland's explosion of racist attackers Keystone Archive

Attacks committed by right-wing extremists in Switzerland have doubled since last year, according to the Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung. The paper has seen an alarming list of figures compiled by the Federal police.

This content was published on December 10, 2000 - 12:44

Police officials in Bern said they have registered 105 acts of violence carried out by members of Switzerland right-wing extremist scene since the beginning of this year. The paper says it is the highest figure of racist violence on record since 1988.

The SonntagsZeitung goes on to say that according to police figures there is a steady rise of new recruits in Switzerland's racist groups.

The Federal Police estimates that around 800 people, most of whom are between the ages of 16 and 22, are currently part of Switzerland's "skinhead" culture.

Jürg Bühler, who is the deputy chief of the Federal police, said: "The NAO, which is acts as an extremist umbrella organisation in Switzerland, is particularly active at the moment, despite the absence of racist crimes in the past few weeks."

The SonntagsZeitung reported on Sunday that the Federal Commission Against Racism is deeply concerned about the trend of increasing racially motivated attacks. It has therefore decided to call for a national telephone hotline to be set up for victims of racism.

The secretary of the commission, Michele Galizia, said: "It's our aim to create teams from various cantonal administrations and non-governmental anti-racism watchdogs in order to form a national network. Such teams could act as 'emergency services' against racism".

"In France where a national hotline was set up in May to help the victims of racist attacks, they're already celebrating it as a huge success," Galizia said.

He said that the hotline would initially be tried out as a pilot project in one canton in Switzerland early next year.

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