Austrian court says it’s fine to give the finger to far-right leader

Austrian court says it's fine to give the finger to far-right leader
Protesters in Vienna hold up a sign with the crossed-out Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (L)(ÖVP) and Heinz -Christian Strache (Freedom Party Austria, FPÖ) in January 2018. Photo: AFP
A court has upheld the right of Austrians to give the leader of the country's far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) the finger, officials confirmed on Thursday.

Heinz-Christian Strache had accused the far-left group “Linkswende” of slander after they published a video before last year's elections featuring supporters giving their reasons for saying “Fuck Strache” whilst showing their middle fingers.

Strache lost an initial judgement in the case in December and on Thursday officials confirmed to the APA news agency that his appeal before Vienna's Higher Regional Court had been rejected.

Linkswende spokesman David Albrich called the decision “a victory both for freedom of speech and of the press”.

After last year's elections Strache's FPÖ entered government as a junior partner to the centre-right People's Party (ÖVP) of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Strache himself became vice-chancellor.