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Swiss police halt Martin Sellner's far-right rally

March 17, 2024

Martin Sellner, a prominent European far-right figure, was prevented from speaking at an event in Switzerland and kicked out of the Aargau region where the event was held.

Martin Sellner
Germany is also looking at ways to prevent Sellner from entering the countryImage: Sebastian Willnow/dpa/picture alliance

A far-right Austrian political figure was prevented from giving a speech at an event in Switzerland and thrown out of the region where it was hosted, the leader and main speaker at the event said Sunday.

The leader of the Identitarian Movement — classified in 2019 by Germany's domestic intelligence service as an extreme right-wing group — traveled to Tegerfelden to take part in the event organized by a Swiss group called "Junge Tat" (Young Deed).

Martin Sellner had intended to talk about "remigration," which refers to the return, sometimes forced, of non-ethnically European immigrants back to their place of racial origin.

"The police in the Kanton of Aargau, Switzerland, stormed a speech, turned off the electricity, handcuffed me and performed a push back," Sellner wrote on X, formerly Twitter. "I am not allowed to enter Aargau for 2 months."

Security issues cited in removal

Swiss police said they stopped the event after organizers failed to comply with a request to call it off.

"To ensure public safety and prevent confrontations with people from the opposing side, the speaker at the event was stopped and ordered to leave the cantonal territory," Aargau police said in a statement.

Sellner, who comes from Austria, which borders Switzerland, said that he was escorted out of the canton (state) of Aargau before being take to Zürich.

Authorities said they had tracked down the "Junge Tat" event in the small town of Tegerfelden after receiving some tipoffs.

Germany is currently mulling the idea of banning Sellner from entering the country. Such a move is not unprecedented, but legal hurdles in the EU make it complicated.

jsi/sri (AP, Reuters, AFP)