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    Heinz-Christian Strache, chairman of the right-wing Freedom Party, FPOE, adjusts his glasses during a news conference in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017

    Austrian Court Rules It's OK to Flip the Bird at Austrian Vice-Chancellor

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    Right-wing Austrian Vice Chancellor, Heinz-Christian Strache, has lost his appeal in court after he accused left-wing activists of “public insults," in which the group showed middle fingers at his policies in a video.

    A Vienna appeals court ruled that the group’s popular social media videos ridiculing Strache are covered by the country’s free speech laws.

    The left-wing group, Linkswende Jetzt (Left Now), created a video in 2017 in which they voiced their opposition to Heinz-Christian Strache’s policies and his right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ).

    “Because we stand in solidarity with refugees and Muslims we say: F**k Strache,” several Left Now supporters said in the video

    "Because the anti-women politics of the FPÖ reminds me of the Mutterkkreuz of the Nazis: F**k Strache,” were some of the slogans proclaimed by the leftists in the video.

    Strache accused the Linkswende of slander, but on Tuesday, the Austrian court ruled that it’s fine to give the finger to the leader.

    The appeals court ruling confirmed the decision of a lower court that the left-wing activists have the right to express “provocative and shocking” political opinions as it is a “fundamental part of freedom of expression.”

    The leftist group’s spokesman David Albrich called the decision of the court, "a victory both for freedom of speech and of the press."

    Following 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, whereupon Strache became the vice-chancellor.


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