Feb 22 2014
According to the Federal Court of Justice, the expressions “bastard foreigner“ and “filthy immigrant“ do not represent any discrimination based on race, ethnicity, or religion, but are merely insults.
Islam vs Europe Back in 2007, a police officer from Basle and one of his colleagues arrested an Algerian Muslim 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. 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.