Election campaign shaped by stereotyping foreigners
The Federal Commission against Racism published a report in December 2007 showing that foreign nationals were negatively depicted in the parliarmentary election campaign of autumn 2007. In particular muslims and foreign youths had been targeted by the rightwing Swiss People's Party. The Commission demands that politicians should henceforth abstain from such discriminating stereotyping.
- Analyse zeigt Instrumentalisierung von Ausländern im Wahlkampf auf
Press release of the Commission against Racism, 18 December 2007 (in German)
- Election run-up made stereotypes of foreigners
Swissinfo, 18 December 2007
Strategy of the People's Party
The Swiss People's Party led an extremely provocative election campaign.They used posters showing three white sheep kicking a black sheep out of Switzerland, videos showing scenes of youth violence and a very controversial computer game. Even the UN Special Rapporteur on Racism criticised the «black sheep poster» which was used by the rightwing party as part of their campaign to expel foreigners (and their families) convicted of crimes.
«A racist campaign»
The former Federal President Micheline Calmy-Rey was disgusted by these posters, claiming that they would fuel hatred. «It is a racist campaign», she said. Various Swiss human rights organisations took a stand against these posters, even going so far as to bring a lawsuit against the SPP and it's poster. A first decision from the public prosecutor of Canton Zurich declared that it was not a case of racism and stopped the inquiry. In its explanation the decision states that the anti-racism article of the penal law does not include foreigners as such, but only religion, ethnicity and race. This campaign even led to reactions in foreign media, such as the Independent.
- People's Party accused of «racist» campaign
Swissinfo, 30 August 2007
- Sheep poster gets black marks from UN
Swissinfo, 14 September 2007
- Government rejects racism accusations
Swissinfo, 13 September 2007
- Press release of the Federal Department of the Interior 12 September 2007 (in German)
- Nouvelle campagne d’affichage de l’UDC. Moutons blancs contre moutons noirs = Blancs conter Noirs ? Non à la guerre raciale rampante (in French, pdf, 2p.) Communiqué de presse de CRAN, 14 juillet 2007
- La LICRA-Suisse est profondément indignée par l'affiche (in French)
Communiqué de presse de la LICRA -Suisse, 10 juillet 2007 (pdf, 1p.)
- Nein zu Diskriminierung und Rassismus im Wahlkampf 2007 (in German, no longer online)
Medienmitteilung der Schweizer Sektion von Amnesty International vom 18. September 2007
- Communiqué de presse de la LSDH vom 27. September 2007 (in French)