Switzerland’s biggest political party has come under fire for racist and xenophobic campaigning after its posters featured black sheep and its proposals to deport immigrants were likened by anti-racism campaigners to Nazi practices.
The nationalist People’s party, which controls the lower house of the Swiss parliament, has run an advertising campaign showing three white sheep on a Swiss flag kicking out a black sheep with the caption For more security.
The party, which controls the justice ministry and is part of Switzerland’s governing coalition, is proposing a scheme to deport immigrant families if their children are convicted of a violent crime, drug offences or benefit fraud. It claims immigrants, which make up 20% of the population, are four times more likely to commit crimes than Swiss nationals. The party is trying to collect the 100,000 signatures needed to force a referendum on the scheme.
Ronnie Bernheim of the Swiss Foundation against Racism and Anti-Semitism said the proposal was similar to the Nazi practice of Sippenhaft’ — or kin liability — whereby relatives of criminals were held responsible for his or her crimes and punished equally.