Thursday, October 6, 2022

Austria plans crackdown on online hate speech

The Austrian justice and security authorities plan to take a tougher stance on online hate speech following the suicide of a doctor who was bombarded with death threats for her advocacy for vaccines against Covid-19.
Justice Minister Alma Zadic plans to work with Interior Minister Gerhard Karner to give every police department and public prosecutor’s office the necessary resources and tools to take all victims seriously and bring perpetrators to justice without undue delay, dpa news agency reported.
“These investigations often take too long, which is of course extremely stressful for victims,” she said on Saturday.
Her comments came a day after Austrian officials said they would work with German prosecutors to search for those who made death threats on social media against Lisa-Maria Kellermayr, a 36-year old doctor who died by suicide.
The doctor, who was vocal in the fight against the pandemic, was subjected to a wave of death threats from critics of government containment measures.
She was found dead in her practice just over a week ago.
The Austrian authorities have been accused of failing to provide sufficient support.
Meanwhile investigations are continuing in Germany after a man’s home was searched in Bavaria on Friday.