Expatica news

Swiss protest organisers not charged over ‘Kill Erdogan’ banner

The organisers of a protest in Switzerland where some demonstrators held a banner urging the assassination of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will not be charged, media reports said Monday.

Kurdish groups and left-leaning Swiss political parties called the protest in Geneva in March, where a banner showing a gun pointing at Erdogan was brandished, alongside the words: “Kill Erdogan”.

The rally took place at the height of Ankara’s ultimately successful campaign to get citizens to vote ‘Yes’ in a April 16 referendum to expand the Turkish president’s powers.

Turkey was furious and summoned the Swiss ambassador over the demonstration. Swiss and Turkish officials launched separate investigations.

However municipal authorities in Bern determined that the organisers had not breached the rules governing demonstrations, the NZZ daily reported on Monday, quoting local police chief Marc Heeb.

It was unreasonable to expect organisers of the demonstration, which drew thousands of people, to take action against the protesters waving the banner, he said.

But while the organisers will not face charges, Bern prosecutors are pushing ahead with a criminal probe against the individual protesters who carried the banner and who are suspected of incitement to violence, NZZ reported.