Swiss politician cleared of racial discrimination charges

More then 8,000 mainly Bosnian men and boys were killed in 1995 massacre by Bosnian Serbs in and around the town of Srebrenica during the war following the breakup of Yugoslavia. Keystone

Switzerland’s supreme court has acquitted a former politician of racial discrimination who denied a genocide against Moslems in the 1995 massacre of Srebrenica in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

This content was published on December 27, 2018 - 17:23 with SDA-ATS/ug

In its verdict published on Thursday, the court refers to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, saying freedom of expression is paramount. The judges said the author of a text in the Italian-language Corriere del Ticino and on an internet portal was discriminatory and it amounted to the denial of genocide.

However, the author didn't act with intention to discriminate others and he did not incite violence, hatred or criticism of the Moslem population, according to the judges.

Nevertheless, the Federal Court said the text, published in November 2012, lacked respect and was insulting to the victims and their families as well as members of the Moslem community.

The author of the text is Donatello Poggi, a former local politician in canton Ticino. A lower court handed down a financial penalty and a fine of CHF7,850 ($7,017) in 2013.

In a high-profile case in 2015, the ECHR cleared a prominent Turkish politician, Doğu Perinçek, of racism charges and concluded that Switzerland violated his right to freedom of speech.

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