03:46 GMT07 August 2020
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    A local bar in the small town of Bad Ischl, Austria, has banned asylum seekers from entry and caused outrage among Internet users, media reported.

    In an exclusive interview with Sputnik, the owner of the Charly's bar Karin Siebrecht-Janisch explained that her female guests as well her staff were repeatedly sexually harassed by migrants and therefore she had no choice but to ban them.

    "Refugees appeared among my guests in November and many of them more and more often bothered my female guests — touched and grabbed them, gave dirty looks, followed them down to the toilet or to the street," Siebrecht-Janisch explained.

    According to the bar owner, the situation worsened at the beginning of the year, when migrants started to harass her staff as well. The woman complained to the city's authorities and wrote a letter to the mayor of Bad Ischl but her appeals were ignored, and therefore she was forced to act on her own.

    "The whole situation was not taken seriously and they just smiled. The only thing we have heard in response was: ‘We cannot imagine something like that,'" the woman explained.

    At some point, her guests started to tell her that they will no longer be able to come to her bar, because the place has become a place for refugees.

    "I mean, this is my income. I want to protect my guests, my staff," Siebrecht-Janisch said.

    Earlier, the bar owner was heavily criticized for her phrase "We are now again free of refugees" which she posted on the Bar's twitter account. Internet users claimed that such wording reminded them of the Nazi regime and its term "free of Jews."

    The woman admitted that she probably chose the wrong wording, but assured that she did not imply to anything she is being accused of.

    "[…] of course, the wording was not the best. However, I did not mean any subtext when I wrote this," Siebrecht-Janisch said.

    Siebrecht-Janisch is sure that many places will behave the same way in the future and believes that most people (about 70%) supported her move.

    "I am just the first and the only one who opened her mouth," the woman said, adding that unfortunately, most of the people support her point of view, but are afraid to say something.

    "Frankly, I am now living in an Austria, where I don't want to express my opinion to the public. Because I don't judge and condemn anyone, and it seems to me that there are a lot of people who are on my side. But in the end, it turns out that I feel as an Austrian citizen discriminated in my own country," Siebrecht-Janisch said.


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