FFE Magazine

In Switzerland, calling refugees ‘pig’ is not being Racist

In Switzerland, calling refugees ‘pig’ is not being Racist

As rude police is cleared of racism charges, calls for clearer anti-racism laws raised.


A police officer had been cleared of racism charges after he insulted a suspected thief.


In April 2007, one Swiss cop cuffed an Algerian after the latter allegedly snatched a Russian’s bag. After finding out that the suspect was a refugee, the cop proceeded to insult him with ‘foreign pig’ and ‘dirty asylum-seeker.’


The rude cop was punished with a fine for breaking anti-racism laws. But the Swiss Federal Supreme Court ruled in favour of the cop, saying the words did not break anti-racism laws because they were too broad to identify specific groups, race or religion.


Now that the news has reached UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in Geneva, the committee review board is calling for a clearer definition ‘direct and indirect racial discrimination’ in Swiss laws.


CERD member Anastasia Crickley worried that the protectionist tendencies of Swiss laws may only boost xenophobia (fear of foreigners) in the country.


Last January, Switzerland limited social assistance to EU citizens migrating to the country. Earlier this month, Switzerland also narrowly approved implementing a migration quota that is feared to have a negative impact on the country’s EU citizens.



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