Category Archives: Austria

Mother of teenage ISIS ‘pin-up poster girl’ who died in Syria SUES the Austrian government for letting her leave the country

The mother of one of the Austrian teenagers dubbed ‘jihadi pin-up poster girls’ after they joined ISIS in Syria, is suing the government for letting them leave the country.

Sabina Selimovic was just 15 when she left Vienna with her 16-year-old friend Samra Kesinovic in April 2014, and both are believed to have died in Syria.

Sabina’s mother Senada Selimovic says border guards should have stopped the teenagers from travelling to Turkey, from where they crossed the border into Syria.


Austria to cut benefits for immigrants with poor language skills

Foreigners who have moved to Austria but have not yet picked up the language are set to be hit by a controversial reform to the country’s social welfare system, as the Right-wing government steps up its efforts to deter immigration.

The plan presented by the Austrian government last week will penalise the unemployed by cutting €300 off their monthly dole payments if they do not fulfill certain language requirements. The government says that the money will instead go towards providing compulsory German classes.


Austrian jihadist recruiter gets eight-year jail term

An Austrian man under whose influence two couples went to Syria to join the Islamic State (Isis) group taking their nine children with them was on Wednesday jailed for eight years.

The 38-year-old was convicted of recruiting for Isis while a 24-year-old

Bulgarian was given seven years after being found in possession of plans for terrorist attacks.

Prosecutors said the older man played “a central ideological role” in a radical religious grouping and had convinced several people to travel to Syria to join Isis.


Illegally held dual nationality Turks being stripped of citizenship in Austria

Dual nationality Turks being stripped of citizenship by far-Right in Austria’s ‘Windrush’ scandal

housands of people could be stripped of their Austrian citizenship in what is being called the country’s version of the Windrush scandal.

In a campaign orchestrated by the far-Right Freedom Party (FPÖ), hundreds of Austrians of Turkish heritage are currently under investigation by the authorities on suspicion of illegally holding dual citizenship – and authorities say they may widen their investigations to thousands more.

Except for rare cases dual citizenship is illegal in Austria, and the authorities are pursuing the cases in court. But lawyers say the evidence is unreliable.


Austrian Populist Vice-Chancellor Defends UN Migrant Pact Pullout

Populist Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz Christian Strache defended his country’s move to pull out of the UN migration pact saying he was only concerned with what is best for Austrians.

The leader of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) said, “We are only responsible to our Austrian population as government officials. Austrian sovereignty has top priority for us, this must be preserved and protected,” Kronen Zeitung reports.

Mr Strache added that the migration pact would also create a possibility that “people who are unlawfully coming to Austria are legally compliant.”


Austria to close seven mosques and deport imams in crackdown on ‘political Islam’

The country’s coalition government, formed of conservative and far-right figures, said the measures were “just the beginning” of a push against radical Islam and foreign funding of religious groups.


Salzburg summit: Austria leads EU’s anti-migrant drive

Metal barriers and huge tents were erected at the border, where refugees and migrants were sheltered and fed while their asylum claims were processed.

The Austrian government that has come to power in the wake of the crisis has made migration a priority of its European Union presidency.

This week, along with Brexit, migration is set to dominate the informal summit of European Union leaders that starts in Salzburg on Wednesday evening.

As political tensions on migrants run high in the EU, Austria has emerged as one of the hard-line voices.


Vienna: Muslim knife attacker gets life sentence

A man who stabbed four people in two knife attacks in the Austrian capital Vienna on March 7 was sentenced to life in jail on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Afghan national was found guilty by jurors on four counts of attempted murder.

The attacker did not claim any political motivation for his actions.

A couple and their 17-year-old daughter sustained severe injuries in the first attack near Nestroyplatz metro station, surviving thanks only to a quick response from emergency services.


Austria: Six men attempt suicide in face of deportation

I smell ruse, not smoke.

Six men who were scheduled to be deported from Austria were brought to local hospitals in critical condition late on Friday night after apparently setting fire to their cells in a Vienna detention center. According to local media, a suicide note signed by the entire group was found by investigators.

At around 10:30 pm local time, the fire alarm went off at the facility in the Hernalser district of Vienna. When guards rushed to the scene, one of the men was found motionless by the cell door, but the smoke was too thick to try and rescue the others. About 40 inmates had to be evacuated, and 14 of them were treated for smoke inhalation, as were a few police officers on the scene.


How dangerous are Austria’s far-right hipsters?

It was the middle of the night when a group of young Austrians used a crane to dress Vienna’s 65-foot (20-meter) statue of Empress Maria Theresa in a niqab. The stunt was accompanied by a poster that read “Islamization? No thanks!”

The act was committed by the Austrian branch of the Identitarian movement, branded Europe’s “hipster right.” Identitarians are the new, media-friendly face of far-right nationalism and Europe’s answer to the US’s alt-right. But where the alt-right has succeeded online, Austria’s Identitarians use the internet to promote their actions on the streets — imitating the tactics of leftist activist groups such as Greenpeace and generating news headlines in the process.

It’s DW, think the CBC with a sprinkling of Guardianista.


Austria to ban asylum-seekers from taking up apprenticeships

Asylum-seekers in Austria will no longer be able to apply for apprenticeship schemes, as part of a draft regulation presented by the government on Monday.

The legislation actually aims to fill vacant training places and apprenticeships, which will be open to laborers from third countries but not to asylum-seekers whose claims are being assessed, government spokesman Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal said.


Austria rejects ‘gay’ asylum seeker’s claim because he acted too ‘girlish’…

Austria has rejected the asylum claim of an Iraqi who claimed he could not return home because he is gay, saying he acted too ‘girlish’ in his assessment interview, reports said Thursday.

The case follows that of an Afghan asylum-seeker whose claim to be gay was rejected because he did not ‘act or dress’ like a homosexual.

Rights group Amnesty International said earlier this week that it saw a ‘structural problem’ in how Austria assessed asylum claims. An Interior Ministry spokesman rejected this on Thursday.