Austria / Supreme Court / 15Os40/15v ECLI:AT:OGH0002:2015:0150OS00040.15V.0610.000




Austria / Supreme Court / 15Os40/15v ECLI:AT:OGH0002:2015:0150OS00040.15V.0610.000

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Decision/ruling/judgment date

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Crime type(s) concerned/related

Incitement to violence or hatred

Related hate bias motivation

Race Ethnic origin Religion

Groups affected

Muslims Foreigners Migrants

Court/Body type

National Higher Court


Supreme Court (Oberster Gerichtshof)

Key facts of the case

The case concerns online incitement to violence or hatred. The defendant alleged that every Muslim is a possible terrorist. He also stated "Let us finally wake up and remove this cancer from our people's body!". He also posted a comment on facebook stating that one has "to prevent the infiltration of primitive races, such as the Negro race and the Turks and Muslims. Moreover, he posted a world map indicating the average IQ - indicating 'mental retardation' of the 'negroid population'. In addition, he posted a picture of a pig on facebook and commented: "The sacred animal of the Muslims. Some claim that it is the reincarnation of the Prophet. "

Main reasoning/argumentation

The Supreme Court found that the argument that the defendant cited only scientific studies without his own assessment, is not a ground for annulling the verdict ("stirring up hatred", "insulting").

Is the case related to the application of the Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia, the Racial Equality Directive?

Key issues (concepts, interpretations) clarified by the case

One of the key issues is whether citing scientific studies (or 'pseudo scientific studies') without one's own assessment may fall under incitement to hatred.

Results (sanctions, outcome) and key consequences or implications of the case

The defendant's appeal for nullity has been rejected and the files are being sent to the Higher Regional Court Vienna (Oberlandesgericht Wien - OLG Wien) for it to decide upon the appeals.

Key quotation in original language and translated into English with reference details

Das Vorbringen zu II.C., der Angeklagte habe nur wissenschaftliche Studien ohne eigene Wertung zitiert, hält ebenso nicht am Wahrspruch in objektiver und subjektiver Hinsicht fest („gehetzt“, „beschimpft“) wie die Überlegungen zu III., der Blasphemie-Tatbestand (§ 188 StGB) sei generell zu hinterfragen und im konkreten Fall sei eindeutig der satirische Aspekt des Beitrags im Vordergrund gestanden.

The argument to II.C., that the defendant cited only scientific studies without his own assessment, does not substantiate the verdict in both objective and subjective terms ("stirring up hatred", "insulting"), likewise on III, the blasphemy section (§ 188 StGB) should be questioned in general and, in the specific case, that the satirical aspect of the contribution was clearly in the foreground.

DISCLAIMERThe information presented here is collected under contract by the FRA's research network FRANET. The information and views contained do not necessarily reflect the views or the official position of the FRA.