Switzerland records sharp rise in racist incidents
Switzerland's racism help centres have seen reports jump by a third to a record 301 abuse cases last year, Swiss newspapers reported on Sunday. Most of the victims were targeted because they were perceived as foreigners.
Racism against blacks and Muslims were the other main motives, according to an unpublished report by Switzerland's Anti-Racism Commission, which funds 27 help centres across the country. The centres recorded verbal abuse and discrimination, as well as two armed attacks, the SonntagsZeitung newspaper reported in Zurich.
In one case, a bus driver allegedly refused to drive underage asylum seekers to their bus stop and told them "to go back to Africa."
In June, anti-Semites struck an orthodox Jew to the ground in Zurich. According to the authors of the report, the numbers might have increased because of increased awareness about racism, or because there were really more incidents.
In any case, the experts assume that the real number of cases is far higher than the ones that were reported. Anti-Racism Commission president Martine Brunschwig Graf said that racist views expressed by leaders such as U.S. President Donald Trump have had an international ripple effect.
"Xenophobes feel support for their stance," she was quoted as saying by the SonntagsBlick newspaper. (dpa)