A court has found a Swiss politician guilty of racial discrimination for comments made on social media following a fatal shooting at a St Gallen mosque in north-eastern Switzerland in 2014.
Sion district court said on Thursday it had given the parliamentarian Jean-Luc Addor a suspended fine of CHF18,000 ($18,700) for his remarks that contravened the Swiss racial discrimination law.
Minutes after a man was shot to death in a St Gallen mosque on August 22, 2014, Addor, a member of the House of Representatives for the rightwing Swiss People’s Party, wrote “On en redemande!” (“Let’s have more!”) on his Twitter and Facebook accounts, the court said.
The court rejected the arguments made by Addor’s lawyer, Marc Bonnant, that his client’s comments on social media had used a form of irony.
It said Addor’s remarks had “given the impression that through their religious affiliation, members of the Muslim community were people whose life was worth less”.
The court added that the “discriminatory message was objectively created to reinforce or support a hostile attitude towards the Muslim community”.
In reply, Bonnant said the court’s decision proved that “radical Islam instrumentalises the Swiss justice system” and showed that the “Sion judges apply sharia law without knowing as they forbid criticism of Islam”. He would not confirm whether his client might appeal.