Die Weltwoche, a Zurich-based news weekly, has triggered outrage among some people in Switzerland, Germany and Austria with its latest cover and lead article.
The cover of the magazine, which has ties to the rightwing Swiss People’s Party, shows a Roma child who looks about four years old pointing a gun at the camera (see link). The headline says: “The Roma are coming: Plundering in Switzerland”.
One of those lodging a legal complaint is an Austrian journalist who says he wants to send a “symbolic signal” against what he sees as Weltwoche’s “sweeping generalisation and tarring of Roma as criminals”.
A woman in Basel has also lodged a complaint, accusing Weltwoche of breaching Swiss anti-racism laws.
Peter Studer, president of the Swiss Press Council between 2001 and 2007, said it was an “outrageous picture with racist tones”.
The deputy editor of Weltwoche, who co-wrote the lead article, said he couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about, adding that the real scandal was that none of the people complaining had spoken out against the abuse of Roma children by gangs for criminal purposes.