Friday, 21 February 2014

LAUSANNE - According to the Federal Court of Justice, the expressions „bastard foreigner“ and „filthy immigrant“ do not represent any discrimination based on race, but are merely insults. In this way, a police agent from Basle won the case in the tribunals. 

This agent from Basle and one of his colleagues arrested back in 2007 an Algerian asylum seeker at a clock and jewelry show on suspicion of pick pocketing.

He handcuffed the immigrant and called him „bastard foreigner“ and “filthy immigrant“ in a loud voice in front of a great number of onlookers. 

The tribunal in Basle declared him guilty of race discrimination for his verbal misconduct and sentenced him to pay a given amount of money.

But now the Federal Court has decided in favor of him and has overruled the previous sentence. According to the view of the penal law department, there had been no discriminating remarks which could indicate any reference to a specific race, ethnicity or religion.

The terms „foreigner“ and „immigrant“ can refer to people from very different native lands or beliefs.

The federal court went even further: The use of the terms “bastard” or “filthy” being used when referring to a specific nationality or ethnicity cannot be considered as discrimination on the basis of race.

Terms like “bastard” or “filthy” have always been used in German-language territories and became widespread in expressions of annoyance.

Such expressions would be considered to be merely insults, and not attacks against human dignity.

In any case, as long as such an expression is directed against one individual, an impartial third party is not to consider it as an attack against human dignity, but as a more or less primitive defamation based on hostility towards foreigners.



Gem Junior said...

They seem to be the only country in Europe willing to stand up for themselves.

anthony perkins said...

I am glad the Swiss are standing up for themselves.

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