Van der Bellen:”Do not Shake the Human Rights Convention”

Van der Bellen:”Do not Shake the Human Rights Convention”

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VIENNA: Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen criticized Interior Minister Herbert Kickl (FPÖ) on Friday for his statements on the rule of law. “The Interior Minister, if I understood him correctly, questioned the European Convention of Human Rights,” said Van der Bellen at a press conference in Vienna. “Of course this is not possible.” The ECHR is a basic consensus of the Second Republic.

The European Convention on Human Rights has been in constitutional status in Austria for some 60 years, said the Federal President. “That certainly will not get in the way.”

The ECHR had been a “response to the Second World War and the Holocaust,” remined Van der Bellen. However, this international treaty is also “simply European law”. Austria could not change that on its own. “That would require the agreement of the other contracting states, and European law can not be changed by the individual member state.”

“Shaking Fundamental Rights Unacceptable”

“Shaking” of these fundamental rights (“minority rights such as liberties”) is unacceptable because this act challenge the fundamental consensus of the Second Republic, said Van der Bellen. He said without pointing out – the ÖVP’s Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in the Duty: “I assume that all members of the Federal Government are aware of these facts.”

Remarks on politics and law in the ORF “Report”

Kickl had announced on Tuesday evening in the ORF “Report” to question basic rules such as the Convention of Human Rights. With regard to legal obstacles to deportations, he demanded that the law must follow the policy and not the other way around. Asked whether Kickl was “acceptable” as Interior Minister, Van der Bellen did not answer on Friday. However, he stated that he wanted to have a clarifying conversation with Kickl. But such discussions only make sense “if they remain confidential.”

Also Kurz have a “clarifying conversation”

Even Chancellor Kurz has, according to their own information a “clarifying conversation” with the Interior Minister. “I told him my opinion clearly and I think he accepts it,” he said on Thursday. The constitution and international agreements must remain valid, stressed the Chancellor. “It is clear that the Constitution, the fundamental principles of the European Union as well as fundamental and human rights are valid and that these facts are clearly fixed in the government program.”

Artists and SPÖ call for Kickl’s resignation

Nevertheless, the excitement around Kickl’s statement does not ebb away. SPÖ leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner called for the resignation of the Interior Minister on Friday, which the FPÖ naturally rejected immediately. The number of prominent authors and artists who demand the resignation of Kickl in a joint letter is also growing. On Friday more than 200 local artists have signed the appeal under the title “Kickl has to go”, among them literary figures like Daniel Kehlmann, Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek or Michael Köhlmeier, but also Josef Hader, Erika Pluhar, the theater makers Peter Turrini and Paulus Manker or director David

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