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Parliament votes to ban showing symbols connected to extremism in public

Swiss lawmakers have approved legislation prohibiting the public display of symbols associated with extremism, racism, or violence, including those linked to the Nazi regime. In the National Council, the lower house of the Swiss Parliament, 133 members voted in favor

Swiss lawmakers have agreed to a law that bans showing symbols linked to extremism, racism, or violence in public, including those related to the Nazi regime.

In the National Council, the lower chamber of the Swiss Parliament, 133 members supported the prohibition, while 38 were against. This follows a previous decision by the Cantonal Council in December. The ban also includes gestures, spoken words, greetings, and flags.

The implementation of this rule will happen gradually. The ban on obvious Nazi symbols may be enforced quickly, while restrictions on other racist and extremist symbols may come later.

Green Party MP Raphael Mahaim highlighted the current permissiveness in Switzerland, stating, “It is currently permissible to hang a flag bearing a swastika from your balcony. It is feasible to affix a flag depicting the SS emblem to your car windshield. This situation is unacceptable.”

Switzerland has faced pressure to align with neighboring European countries, such as Germany, Poland, and several Eastern European nations, which have long prohibited Nazi symbolism through comprehensive bans.

Justice Minister Beat Jans highlighted the shift from focusing on preventive measures to the necessity of legislative action. He expressed concern about a significant rise in 'anti-Semitic incidents, especially those involving Nazi symbols, in recent times.'

During the National Council session, Jans stated, “Symbols that are racist, discriminatory, violent, extremist, and particularly National Socialist have no place in our society and should not be publicly displayed.”

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