Wiesenthal Centre to Mayor of Geneva: "Ensure Security for Those at Risk and Detain Those Who Would Launch a Week of Hate"

SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTRE - EUROPE
Tel. +33-147237637 - Fax: +33-147208401
e-mail: csweurope@gmail.com



Wiesenthal Centre to Mayor of Geneva: "Ensure Security for Those at Risk and Detain Those Who Would Launch a Week of Hate"

Paris, 14 April 2009


In a letter to Geneva Mayor, Manuel Tornare, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, expressed concern at the Durban Review Conference – colloquially known as 'Durban II' - due to open at the United Nations in Geneva on Monday, 20 April.

Samuels noted that "This is to be preceded, from Friday to Sunday, by several 'civil' society gatherings, including a mass demonstration, ostensibly against racism," adding that "among the organizers are several agitators who brought havoc and mayhem to the original Durban conference in 2001 and, since then, have encouraged violence in many European cities in which they have gathered. Due to their record at the Durban I NGO Forum, these rioters were refused facilities within the precincts of the UN, and their behavior is now the responsibility of the city and Swiss Federal authorities."

The letter emphasized that "these demonstrations have, too often, set the scene for incitement to antisemitism and can be correlated with assaults on Jewish individuals and institutions."

Samuels characterized Switzerland as "a historic model for European multiculturalism long before that concept became current. Swiss multilingual harmony and cantonal democracy were matched on the local level by Geneva as the mecca of diplomacy," but cautioned that "the events planned for next week must not be permitted to deteriorate into a hatefest that abuses the hospitality of both your city and your country."

The Centre urged the Mayor of Geneva "to ensure the security of all institutions at risk, contain potential threats to public order and detain those bent on exploiting the real scourge of racism to launch a week of hate."


For further information, please contact Shimon Samuels at +33.609.77.01.58.