Israel-Austria Davis Cup play-off game interrupted in protest of 278a
Breaking news from Tel Aviv: Israeli Activists interrupted the Austria-Israel game protesting the severe assault on freedom of expression in Austria and the outrageous abuse of Section 278a of the Austrian Penal Code in persecuting Austrian social change activists.
“The action is aimed at Austrian government for the legal and political persecution currently taking place against 13 acclaimed Austrian social change activists”. The Israeli activists stated. “13 dedicated men and women might be jailed for many years for activities such as petitioning, pulling up information stands and giving public speeches”
The Austrian activists are accused with a ‚membership in a crime organization‘ although the prosecution have failed to present any evidence connecting them to committing a crime. Their main “crime” as members of the Austrian animal rights movement is succeeding in pushing vast legal reforms which threaten the profits of big businesses. The violent arrest of the activists just a day before the initiation of a major public campaign testifies more then anything else for the reason – an attempt to shut their protest up, sabotaging the Austrian animal rights movement success and sending a message to activists for social change in general.
Amnesty International and a variety of human rights organizations worldwide have condemned the Austrian government actions, determining that the trial stands as an explicit threat to the freedom of expression not only in Austria, but around the world as well.
The Israeli activists explained “as human and animal rights activists we feel it is highly important that the world’s public opinion is aware of the extremely dangerous precedent set in Austria in the last few months. We call the Austrian government to stop the political persecution against the activists and to drop the ridiculous charges against them, as well as to stop the draconian abuse of 278a law against social change movements, under-which any them could be considered a criminal organization.”
The activist were arrested and will be brought to court tomorrow.
For further details please call adi on +972544506641
The trial’s background: (English) http://www.shameonaustria.org/en/index.php
More info about the accusations: (English) http://www.shameonaustria.org/en/charges.php