Austrian Freedom Party politician makes anti-groping video aimed at refugees

Published June 9th, 2016 - 11:20 GMT
A Freedom Party rally in Vienna, Austria (Joe Klamar/AFP)
A Freedom Party rally in Vienna, Austria (Joe Klamar/AFP)

Austria’s right-wing Freedom Party narrowly lost the country’s presidential elections last month. That’s not stopping them from continuing their anti-immigration fight, however. They are now contesting the results, alleging irregularities in certain regions. And on top of this, one of their politicians just released a video in an attempt to stop refugees from groping Austrian women, The New Arab reports.

In the video published on June 2, the Freedom Party’s Armin Sippel tells refugees to not make advances or grab the breasts and rear ends of unmarried Austrian women as he demonstrates on a life-size doll.

The video is likely in response to refugees from Syria coming to Austria, as the video contains the Arabic word for ‘no’-albeit misspelled as ‘al’ instead of ‘la.’ This is perhaps a computing error as Arabic reads right to left, and often comes out backwards and with its letters unconnected in certain word-processing programs.

The Austrian government capped the number of refugees it would receive this year at 37,500, and reportedly received over 16,000 claims as of late April. Many, though not all of these refugees are believed to be from Syria.

The fears of refugees groping local women stem from recent instances of refugee men assaulting women in Europe. The most prominent of which was the New Year’s Day groping scandal in Cologne, Germany, when 80 women reported sexual assaults and muggings. About 1,000 men of Arab and North African complexions were believed to have been involved.

The Austrian Freedom Party has gained much popularity as of late, owed partly to its anti-migrant stance. However, these same positions have led to the party receiving criticism for what some call its far right policies and xenophobia.

--AL


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