Immigrants suspected of deadly assault on bus driver in France

Four “youths” that boarded a bus in Bayonne, France, without tickets and without masks violently attacked a bus driver on Sunday. The driver passed away today. Yet another sad story totally ignored by the system media that illustrates the impoverishment of French society as a result of “diversity”.

In France, the scourge of violence continues to spread, leaving in its wake its innocent victims. After the death of a gendarme, then that of young Thomas , the savage assault of a bus driver in Bayonne once again underlines the worrying rise in immigrant delinquency and crime. The latest victim is Philippe Monguillot, 58 years old and father of three, attacked and savagely beaten for having pointed out to immigrant youths that they were violating the law.

The four thugs that got into Philippe’s bus, were without masks and without tickets. After pointing out the illegality of their situation, one of the young Africans approached the driver and started beating him. Just like Mélanie Lemée, a gendarme killed last week by an African motorist, Philippe died for wanting to simply enforce the law.

His wife Veronique confided in French tabloid le Parisien on Monday: “We were destroyed in a few seconds, I have the impression of living a nightmare. A nightmare which is getting worse by the day.” She told the media that her husband’s cranium had been totally deformed due to the extremely violent assault.

Following this heinous attack, an African in his thirties was arrested on Sunday evening and four other individuals were placed in police custody on Monday. Unsurprisingly, their profile is not that of the average citizen: the first person arrested in the apartment of Mohammed A, is known to the police.

“These are people who live on the margins of society, who regularly drink alcohol and take drugs,” Olivier Lahet, a deputy departmental police union secretary told LCI. But no race-obsessed media outlet dared to speak the truth about the ethnicity of the attackers – contrary to their feverish reporting over the death of African-American George Floyd.

Several dozen of the driver’s colleagues marched to the hospital where Philippe died after being announced in brain dead. Jean-Philippe Paulmier, CFDT delegate, contacted by France Bleu Pays Basque, recalled the violence suffered daily by bus drivers: “There are verbal attacks all the time, the atmosphere has been hyper-tense for a few years. Bus drivers have been exposed more and more in recent years, and Philippe’s aggression, marked by violence, is far from being an isolated case.”

In February 2019, a bus driver was hit in Sartrouville (Yvelines) for refusing to stop immediately. Times are difficult for the drivers whose unions increasingly denounce the incivility and the violence they suffer.

Drivers of the Chronoplus bus network, colleagues of Philippe Monguillot, say no bus has been running since Monday morning, with the exception of certain subcontracted lines.

The attack on the driver elicited angry reactions from opposition politicians. “A man, a driver, tried to enforce basic rules and he lost his life, ” Julien Aubert, LR deputy and president of the Oser la France movement, tweeted.

“When the honest man must lower his eyes in front of thugs, of savages, collapse is not very far away. Living together is an illusion,” Aubert added. His colleague Valérie Boyer, denounced the increase in violence and the lack of media outrage: “Once again, barbarism is spreading. I am scandalized when I learn of the assault of a bus driver in Bayonne. I am scandalized by the cowardice, the savagery which has become daily violence with selective indignation.”

Céline Pina, former elected Socialist and contributor to the new magazine Front populaire by Michel Onfray, even speaks of the “return of the law of the jungle”. The multiplication of violent attacks committed by immigrants and the domination of immigrant youths in the “no-go zones” of the Republic are now indisputable facts.

“Not a day without this gratuitous and unleashed violence that hurts and kills. The worrying generalization of the savagery is a fact that that can no longer be only ‘disparate’. They are becoming the norm in a country whose elites have abdicated,” said the manager of Marine Le Pen’s RN, Jean Messiha, who happens to be an Egyptian immigrant himself.

For his part, the identity activist Damien Rieu wanted to recall that the victims of crime did not enjoy the same compassion from the media, cultural and political class. “Who will kneel for Philippe, a bus driver massacred in Bayonne? Who will set up a committee? A mural fresco? Which star will launch a petition against the country’s impoverishment which kills dozens every day? Omar Sy?” he remarked, in an allusion to the Adama Traore affair.

Rare African victims of alleged police violence are entitled to all the tributes of the progressive system but those who suffer daily violence are ignored.

The local mayor of Bayonne was praised by the New York Times for sheltering illegal African migrants crossing the Spanish border into France last year. The newspaper called Jean-René Etchegaray’s city in the French Basque Country, “refined” because it fulfilled its “humanitarian obligation” since Italy all but closed its borders. The mayor has been providing the illegals with cosy beds, hot meals and heating in winter.

Spain has now become the prime gateway into Europe for migrants from Africa, with more than 57 000 arriving last year.

“I saw that the frontiers were closing, and as far as I’m concerned, there are some fundamental rights that can’t be trampled on,” Etchegaray truimphantly declared last year. He alluded to the attack on the driver as an isolated act this week. Etchegaray was re-elected recently.

Turkish Islamist tyrant’s obscene bid to turn the Hagia Sophia into a mosque

From 1915 to 1923, the Ottoman Empire, the forerunner of modern Turkey, systematically killed more than 2 million Christians — 1.5 million ­Armenians and half a million Syriacs, Assyro-Chaldeans, Greeks and Maronites. During that ­period, half the populations of Tur Abdin and Mount Lebanon, among the Middle East’s final Christian strongholds, were slaughtered or died of famine.

To this day, the Turkish government denies this genocide. Now, what remains of the country’s Christian heritage is under attack from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The latest ­assault: The Islamist strongman wants to convert the Hagia ­Sophia, his nation’s most recognizable landmark, from a ­museum to a mosque. The move would all but complete the erasure of Turkey’s Christian heritage that began with a genocide a century ago.

Consecrated as a Byzantine ­cathedral in the 6th century, the Hagia Sophia (“Holy Wisdom”) was once Christianity’s largest cathedral and the historic seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople, as Istanbul was known for much of the last two millennia.

Eastern Christians for centuries viewed the cathedral as an unparalleled pilgrimage destination. Its relics included supposed pieces of the original Cross of Jesus Christ, as well as the lance that pierced the Nazarene’s side. Pilgrims sought healing from these and other items. You might say the Hagia Sophia was the Saint Peter’s Basilica of Eastern Christianity.

In 1453, following the defeat of historic Byzantium, the Ottomans converted the cathedral into a mosque as a symbol of their dominion over Turkey’s ­indigenous Christians. In the process, they desecrated and plastered over the early Christian icons, mosaics and frescos — though some pieces remain.

In 1934, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the secularist founder of modern Turkey, converted the Hagia Sophia from a mosque into a museum, as “a monument for all civilization.” This allowed people of all faiths to marvel at the Christian icons and the sheer beauty of the site without a religious litmus test to enter.

Erdogan, however, is unapologetically nostalgic for the days of the Ottoman Empire. His plan to convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque is of a piece with his ­Islamist vision for the country, a vision that sits uncomfortably with the Hagia Sophia, a gigantic monument to what used to be called Christendom — right at the heart of Turkey’s most ­important city.

He mustn’t be allowed to go forward.

Clear statements from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom Sam Brownback supporting the preservation of the Hagia Sophia as a museum are encouraging. But they lack the weight of the Oval Office. Now is the time for President Trump to recognize Turkey’s barbarous recent history — and to compel Erdogan to respect the heritage of his country’s indigenous Christian population.

Trump has made religious pluralism a centerpiece of his foreign policy. The seriousness of that commitment stands or falls in Turkey, a country that has ­become increasingly hostile to religious liberty. It’s why Trump should press Turkey to honor the status quo of the Hagia Sophia. This would follow his successful application of pressure on Ankara to secure the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson, a former prisoner of conscience in Turkey.

Last fall, Congress made history with bipartisan recognition of the Armenian Christian Genocide. Ankara wasn’t pleased, but Team Trump must follow suit: Recognizing the Armenian Christian Genocide would be another major ­religious-liberty victory for this president — not to mention the right thing to do.

Beyond these historic and cultural issues, the United States should more broadly reassess its relationship with Turkey — a move that is long overdue.

The world’s most notorious genocide denier, Erdogan, is also infamous for imprisoning journalists and public intellectuals. Turkey’s egregious human-rights violations also include the ethno-sectarian expulsion of Syriacs in northern Syria and the destruction of more than 500 Greek Orthodox churches in Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus.

At one point, Turkey was a reliable, pro-Western ally. But that is no longer the case, and the American people are always better off when foreign policy deals with reality as it is, rather than as we would wish it to be.

Persuading Turkey to maintain the Hagia Sophia’s status quo would be a monumental step in the right direction — and cement the president’s legacy as a stalwart advocate of religious pluralism in the Middle East.

Cardinal Duka: Is tearing down statues the end of our Christian civilization?

Speaking in Velehrad, the most important Czech pilgrimage site, on the occasion of celebrating the arrival of the Christian missionaries to the Czech territory, Cardinal Dominik Duka talked about divisions in today’s society, stressing that in democracy, there has to be morality and respect for others.

However, Duka began his speech by saying that Velehrad is a place that helped Czechs find their national identity.

“According to tradition, St. Ludmila was also baptized here by St. Methodius and received a Marian medallion, later called the Palladium, which found its place on the chest of St. Wenceslas, her grandson and became part of our national and spiritual identity,” said Duka, commemorating the arrival of the first Christian missionaries Cyril and Methodius celebrated on July 6.

Duka then pointed out that in the current situation, many people feel lost and wonder how to carry on.

“The current unrest, acts of violence, and vandalism during mass demonstrations affect the world. What should we do? Politicians, economists, entrepreneurs, but also our families and friends are asking. We, the Christians, also ask ourselves this question,” said Duka.

“Currently, interpreters of the Word of God have more authority than the power of the Holy Spirit or the words of Jesus. Society is not only divided by the fragmentation of political conceptions accompanied by a decline in values, but this fragmentation is also supported by hostile attacks of some media, especially social networks. They send protesters to the streets and call for demonstrations. We build statues and then we tear them down. It is legitimate to ask whether this is a phenomenon of the end of our Western but also our Christian civilization,” suggested Duka.

In this context, he stressed that freedom cannot exist without responsibility as well as love cannot exist without forgiveness, and democracy without morality and respect for others.

In addition to Cyril and Methodius Day, on July 5, Czechs also commemorated the 605th anniversary of the burning of Czech preacher Jan Hus who sought to reform the Church. While the legacy of Jan Hus is closely interwoven throughout crucial parts of Czech history, in the Vatican, it was not until 1999 when Pope John Paul II declared that he regretted Hus’s cruel death and recognized him as a reformer of the Church.

Armenian Christian attacked with knife by Islamists in Berlin, Germany

Yesterday, the Syrian-Armenian member of staff of the German Parliament Kevork Almassian was attacked and injured with a knife by two Islamists in Berlin. Member of parliament Markus Frohnmaier asks for assistance in tracing the perpetrators.

Kevork Almassian is an Armenian Christian and a recognized refugee in Germany. Since 2018 he has been working for the AfD member of parliament Markus Frohnmaier in the German Parliament. Since he was doxed last year by editor-in-chief Lars Wienand of T-Online, the German TV magazine “Kontraste” and the Syrian Islamist activist Nahla Osman from Rüsselsheim, he has been getting death threats.Yesterday two Islamists attacked Almassian with a knife in the street. Almassian managed to escape. Frohnmaier asks for clues about the perpetrator.The informers Lars Wienand and Silvio Duwe and Georg Heil from “Kontraste” never apologized to Almassian.

Meghan’s Prince Harry wants you to apologize for the sins of his ancestors

By Monica Showalter

Going for the wokester cred, Meghan Markle’s husband, Prince Harry, would like you to apologize, or rather, ‘reflect’ on the colonial sins of his ancestors.

Here’s how bad it was

Prince Harry today faced criticism after he appeared to take a swipe at the British Empire by saying the history of the Commonwealth ‘must be acknowledged’, even if it’s ‘uncomfortable’. 

The Duke of Sussex, 35, made the comment as he joined wife Meghan Markle, 38, for a video call with young leaders from the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust last week that was made public today.

As part of the discussion on ‘justice and equal rights’, Harry said the Commonwealth needs to follow others who have ‘acknowledged the past’ and are ‘trying to right their wrongs’, and also admitted to having his own ‘unconscious bias.’

Meghan joined in on the fun:

Meanwhile Meghan said it is also a time of ‘reckoning’ when individuals should be putting their hands up to ‘own’ their past wrongdoings. 

Speaking from his Los Angeles home, Harry, whose grandmother the Queen is head of the Commonwealth, said: ‘When you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past. So many people have done such an incredible job of acknowledging the past and trying to right those wrongs, but I think we all acknowledge there is so much more still to do.’ 

The statement appears to be a swipe at the British Empire, which was ruled over by his ancestors and led to the creation of the Commonwealth, and goes against protocol of royals not wading into politics.

There was also this, from Meghan:

“We’re going to have to be a little uncomfortable right now, because it’s only in pushing through that discomfort that we get to the other side of this,” Harry’s biracial American wife told the group.

Who is this ‘we’ you speak of, Kemosabe?

As Americans, we don’t have a dog in this fight, as we took care of business with Britain back in 1776.

But obviously, it’s pretty unseemly to see Prince Harry, seventh in line to the British throne, go on an apology tour for his own ancestors – while he’s still living off dad’s money, at least for his pricey security. Does he really mean that? Because if he really means that, then it’s time to cut ties to dad’s cash and get a job as a dishwasher somewhere in Los Angeles like anyone. If it was all bad and now in need of an apology, what exactly was he doing risking his life for his country as a military man? Who’d want to die for a wicked empire that needs to apologize for its projection?

Once upon a time, Britain had a second empire, it spanned the globe, the sun never set on it, it served as a projection of Great Britain’s power on the world stage, drawing in capital, resources, immigrants, and cultural power. And oh, yes, all this pith-helmet projection was done in the service of the queen, Harry’s own great great grandmother, Queen Victoria. The only reason anyone still pays attention to Britain today instead of dismiss it as another Belgium, or Romania, or Denmark, or some other pea in the E.U. pod, is that powerful colonial heritage, for good and bad.

Intelligent people can discuss its pluses and minuses, what it brought compared to what it took, whether it was a ‘racket’ as George Orwell concluded, or a point of great pride as Rudyard Kipling saw it.

It can even be argued, as British propaganda, at least until recently, held that the states colonized by Britain, with its tradition of rule of law, and its useful lingua franca, the English language, are better off now than the places that never saw a colonizer from the West. (Just ask Afghanistan).  While not a perfect thing for everyone, it certainly could be put forward as a certain amount of comparative perspective. 

Here’s one study, there have been many.

The authors also compare the experiences of separate Pacific islands with eight different colonizers: the United States, Britain, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Japan, Germany, and France. * Their verdict is that the islands that are best off, in terms of income growth, are the ones that were colonized by the United States—as in Guam and Puerto Rico. Next best is time spent as a Dutch, British, or French colony.  At the bottom are the countries colonized by the Spanish and especially the Portuguese.

And here’s another thing: No Gandhi could do what Gandhi did in India, with his non-violent resistance movement for independence, if the colonial backdrop was, say, Russia, or China. (Just ask the Dalai Lama). The Brits could be appealed to for their better nature. Oh, and Gandhi, by the way, was an Anglophile, as was Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, also known as “Harry.” 

So now we have the sorry specter of Prince Harry wanting to go on an apology tour for his own ancestors, except that you’re the one who’s going to apologize, while still living off the fat of the British royal family. Somehow, we’ve got the makings of a hypocrite, no doubt driven by the wokester impulses of his hideous wife Meghan.

Not surprisingly, the Daily Mail reported that Harry looked ‘trapped’ and ‘awkward’ and ‘like a hostage’ in all that wokester self-made abasement, which isn’t a good look for him. Socializing the apologies while privatizing the life-of-luxury goodies is no way to get anyone’s respect, wokester or otherwise. Maybe he can grow up now and be a man. Stiff upper lip and all that, the pith-helmet thing he doesn’t seem to know about.

New French Justice Minister wants Le Pen’s party banned

The big surprise of the new French administration after a reshuffle, is the appointment of the very mediatic lawyer at the Ministry of Justice, Éric Dupond-Moretti.

The announcement of the new government of Jean Castex on Monday June 6 at the start of the evening also included the next Minister of Justice. The most visible lawyer in France, who defended terrorist Abdelkader Merah, is a flashy (and divisive) personality in the world of justice.

Dupont-Moretti will be replacing Nicole Belloubet at the ministry. The choice elicited negative reactions from professionals in the field as well as from political figures.

After the official announcement, Marine Le Pen denounced his appointment. “At the Justice Ministry is appointed an activist from the far left who wants to ban the RN, the largest opposition party. This is really something… ” she wrote on Twitter.

In May 2015, Éric Dupond-Moretti had indeed suggested during an interview on France Inter that “the FN [was] not a republican party” and that it was necessary “to ban it”.

Céline Parisot, president of the Magistrates’ Union, told Franceinfo that the appointment of the lawyer at the ministry was “a declaration of war against the judiciary”. “This time it’s serious,” she said. The president of the USM said she did not understand how one can name “such a divisive personality, who despises magistrates to such an extent, […] who does not hesitate to insult them, who wishes the abolition of their school”.

On October 31, 2016, advised by the King of Morocco Mohammed VI , the lawyer took over the case of the Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred accused of sexual assault and rape, with the attorney’s fees paid by the Moroccan palace. In 2018, and without giving the reasons, Dupond-Moretti declared that he would no longer represent the singer after a second rape complaint filed against Lamjarred in Saint-Tropez.

On February 6, 2017, the lawyer announced that he was representing the black drug dealer Théo, an alleged victim of “rape” with a baton by 4 police officers during his arrest in Aulnay-sous-Bois. The lawyer’s arguments led to violent riots.

Already in December 2008, he held the record for acquittals obtained on French territory. Many magistrates view him as a “courtroom terrorist”, French weekly Le Point reported.

In 2020, Dupond-Moretti joined the international defense team of Julian Assange.

As soon as his appointment was announced, the Elysee Palace announced that Eric Dupond-Moretti had chosen to withdraw the complaint he had recently filed in the Nicolas Sarkozy “wiretapping” affair.

In February 2014, the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office had actually asked for a scan of the lawyer’s telephone bills, as well as those of a dozen of his colleagues. The new minister had filed a complaint for “violation of privacy and the secrecy of correspondence” and “abuse of authority”.

The sudden withdrawal has led to rumours about the lawyer’s involvement in irregular activities and political schemes.

And while the new Prime Minister had announced that he would deliver his first general policy speech “in the middle of next week”, the Elysée quickly contradicted him.

Emmanuel Macron is already meddling in the work of his new Prime Minister. The first hiccup in the communication between the Elysée and Jean Castex did not take long to happen, reported French daily Le Figaro.

During his first television interview at 8pm on TF1, on Friday July 3, Jean Castex declared that he would deliver his general policy speech “in the middle of next week”. His promise was widely reported by the media. But on Sunday, July 5, the Elysee Palace announced that Emmanuel Macron would speak on July 14, “probably in the context of a television interview” and that the new Prime Minister would speak only “a few days after” him.

The departure of Edouard Philippe and the appointment of Jean Castex were welcomed by the opposition as the arrival of a collaborating “technocrat” at the Elysee Palace.

The mayor of Le Havre, Edouard Philippe, increasingly popular, had clearly constituted a threat to Macron. For president of the Union of Democrats and Independents (UDI) Jean-Christophe Lagarde, “the appointment of Jean Castex to Matignon, after Edouard Philippe refused to follow [Emmanuel Macron, Editor’s note] in his spending shift is a clear message. The president wants to govern alone and prepare directly for the presidential election”.

Killing Free Speech in Austria

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) recently published its sixth monitoring report on Austria.

ECRI, which describes itself as “independent”, is the human rights monitoring body of the Council of Europe — not to be confused with the European Union. The Council of Europe is composed of 47 member states, including all of the 27 European Union member states.

ECRI is an unelected body with members designated by their governments (one for each member state) who are supposed to have “in-depth knowledge in the field of combating intolerance…. and recognised expertise in dealing with racism, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance”. It was founded in 1994 by the heads of state of the Council of Europe with the mandate, among other things, to “review member States’ legislation, policies and other measures to combat racism, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance, and their effectiveness”.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of ECRI and the Council of Europe, Europe now has a huge web of hate speech laws and policies. Gatestone has previously reported on ECRI’s monitoring of Germany and of Switzerland.

In its sixth monitoring report on Austria, ECRI wrote that “progress has been made and good practices have been developed in a number of fields”.

“Austria has taken several initiatives to thwart hate speech by developing a counter-narrative. The authorities have worked with civil society to improve the detection and recording of online hate and to provide support to victims of such incidents… in… 2018, the authorities concluded an agreement with social network providers to remove hate speech within 24 hours”.

However, according to the ECRI, Austria must do more:

“ECRI notes with concern that Austrian public discourse has become increasingly xenophobic in recent years, and political speech has taken on highly divisive and antagonistic overtones particularly targeting Muslims and refugees. The arrival of asylum seekers in large numbers during the European migration crisis in 2015 also saw an escalation of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments, portraying newcomers as a threat to security, national identity or culture”.

ECRI ignores that there may be a context and a reason for “portraying newcomers as a threat to security”. It does not consider the proliferation of Islamic terrorism in Europe or research showing that terrorists have migrated into Europe disguised as asylum seekers, who have gone on to perpetrate deadly terrorist attacks. It also does not acknowledge that, in the words of a 2016 New York Times article about Austria:

“… the challenges of integrating the refugees have become clearer as concerns about crime, sexual mores and cultural clashes come into stark relief across Europe, highlighted by the New Year’s Eve assaultson German women by Arab or North African men in Cologne”.

Similar sexual assaults, by migrant men on Austrian women, but on a far lesser scale, also occurred in Salzburg and Vienna on that same night. Crime statistics for 2017 from the Austrian police showed that 39% of crime suspects were “foreigners”.

Instead, the report notes:

“ECRI is concerned about the sharp rise in intolerant discourse against Muslims. Two different studies conducted in 2017 suggest that 28% of the Austrian population would not want Muslim neighbours and 65% of them were strongly opposed to further migration from Muslim states. Such high levels of Islamophobia are confirmed by a FRA-EU survey, in which 32% of Muslim respondents reported having experienced harassment due to their ethnic or immigrant background in the last year. Certain politicians and media persist in portraying Muslims in a negative light. Claims about a presumed lack of integration of Muslims in Austria and about their alleged opposition to ‘fundamental Austrian values’ leading to violent extremism remain common in public discourse and contribute to a climate of mistrust and fear of Muslims. Research indicates that this trend has further been exacerbated by legislative initiatives, often in connection with security concerns, that affect Muslims, such as the Islam Act of 2015 and the Anti-Face Veiling Act of 2017”.

Again, ECRI does not mention that Austria has experienced serious problems both with integration and with radical Islamism. As previously reported by Gatestone in 2017, the Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF), a department of the foreign ministry published a study, “The role of the mosque in the integration process” in which government representatives surveyed 16 mosques in Vienna:

“According to the study, six of the 16 mosque associations examined (37.5%) pursue ‘a policy that actively impedes integration into society and to some extent exhibits fundamentalist tendencies.’ Half of the 16 mosques examined ‘preach a dichotomous worldview, the pivotal tenet of which is the division of the world into Muslims on one side, and everyone else on the other.’ Six of the mosques were found to practice ‘explicit denigration of Western society’.”

In its 2018 annual report, Austria’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counter-Terrorism (BVT) warned:

“For Austria, the greatest threat remains… from Islamist extremism and terrorism. Although… fewer Jihad travelers (Foreign Terrorist Fighters) have returned to Austria than expected, this group of so-called ‘returnees’ poses a significant threat to internal security… in view of the current territorial dissolution of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS), further security challenges consist of the possible smuggling of jihadists in the course of migration movements to Europe… into Austrian society…”

None of this context exists for ECRI, which appears to operate in a vacuum, unencumbered by real world facts. Instead, ECRI commends Austria for having “several measures in place… which aim to combat hate speech by developing a counter-narrative.”

“For instance, in 2016, the National Committee for the ‘No Hate Speech’ campaign of the Council of Europe was set up. After launching another campaign #makelovegreatagain in 2017, it still runs various awareness-raising activities with the involvement of several actors, including state authorities and NGOs. Since July 2018, in cooperation with the public prosecutor’s office, Neustart, which is the Austrian probation service, has initiated the programme ‘Dialog statt Hass’ (Dialog instead of Hatred), which aims at developing a constructive response to hate speech by creating a sense of wrongdoing and reflection among offenders, subsequently leading to behavioural change”.

Still, even these initiatives do not suffice:

“Immediate and public condemnation of hate speech is not common. Rare examples of good practice include the call for a tolerant and diverse nation, free of ideological and racial hatred by the President of Austria in January 2017…” states the report and asks “that political leaders on all sides take a firm and public stance against the expression of racist hate speech and react to any such expression with a strong counter-hate speech message. All political parties in the country should adopt codes of conduct which prohibit the use of hate speech and call on their members and followers to abstain from using it”.

Furthermore, victims of hate speech need to have more support:

“In September 2017, the counselling centre #GegenHassimNetz (Against online hate), which is financed by the Federal Chancellery, became operational… for victims and witnesses of online hate. Counselling includes strategies for effective responses to hate messages and information on available legal remedies against perpetrators or website operators. Other measures such as the counselling on the removal of hate messages from social media or other websites are also being supported. This initiative has already yielded positive results, as shown by the increasing number of reported incidents concerning online hate speech… The ICT-security portal (, which is an inter-ministerial initiative, also provides an overview of effective prevention measures, reporting mechanisms as well as counselling centres on hate speech”.

ECRI finally notes:

“In 2018, the Federal Minister for Constitutional Affairs, Reforms, Deregulation and Justice concluded an agreement pursuant to which Facebook will check notifications of illegal content regarding hate speech within 24 hours and will remove or lock down such content… In addition, Internet users and civil society can report racist content via the Internet- Reporting Office on the website of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counterterrorism”.

ECRI welcomed the information that a governmental working group of experts is being set up “to develop the legal basis for effective action against hatred on the Internet.”

“On a related note, the authorities further informed ECRI that new legislation, namely the ‘Federal Act on Diligence and Responsibility in the Network’ was proposed in April 2019, aiming at combating online hate speech by requiring social media users and online commenters to provide their real identities to the online platforms, which would then be responsible for verifying the information… In this respect, ECRI recalls that the authorities should ensure that anyone who engages in hate speech as covered by Article 283 of the Criminal Code is duly prosecuted and punished”.

In Austria, more censorship is clearly on the way.

Germany: Afghan man stabs woman in public bus to death – schoolchildren had to witness the crime

In front of other passengers, a man stabbed his separated wife to death in a public bus. The 37-year-old had stabbed his former partner in the bus in Obergünzburg (district Ostallgäu) this Monday at noon.

The incident was particularly serious: “School children were also on the bus during the crime”, a police spokesman told the tabloid BILD. They had to watch the crime.

The 27-year-old woman later died of her severe injuries in a clinic. The suspected perpetrator, an Afghan national, was caught after a short escape. The bus driver and the other passengers received psychological support after the crime. The victim also had Afghan citizenship.

“The suspect is already known to the police from November 2019, when there was an assault on his separated wife,” according to the official police statement.

The man fled the bus on foot immediately after the crime, but was caught and arrested shortly afterwards. He left a knife on the bus before he escaped.

The police ask that parents whose children need to be looked after report to the police in the Allgäu by calling: (0831) 9909-1401