Public Prosecution Department in Vienna Stops Investigation against Michael Pröbsting

Austria: A Small but Important Victory for the Solidarity with the Palestinian Liberation Struggle

Report by the RKOB (Austrian Section of the RCIT), 09.02.2017, www.rkob.net

 

The public prosecution department in Vienna informed us that it has closed the investigation against Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the RCIT and a leading member of its Austrian section. As we reported, the Austrian State attempted to prosecute comrade Pröbsting for his pro-Palestine and Anti-Zionist views. In April 2016 he was summoned to the Federal Bureau for the Protection of the Constitution and Counter-Terrorism (the political police in Austria) to answer charges of “sedition” and “inciting criminal action” (paragraph 282 of the Austrian Criminal Code). Later the public prosecution department in Vienna investigated the case. The background of these accusations was a speech which comrade Pröbsting hold at a demonstration and in which he expressed his support for the Palestinian liberation struggle. If a trial would have been opened and if comrade Pröbsting would have been convicted, he could have faced up to one year in prison. (1)

Naturally, we welcome the decision to close the case and thank all supporters both in Austria as well as internationally for their solidarity! (2)

However, it would be naïve to imagine that this would be the end of the witch-hunt against the Austrian section of the RCIT and other pro-Palestinian activists. There have been already a number of attacks on us in the past and, as we reported a few days ago, the extreme right-wing Freiheitliche Party – which is currently leading the polls – has recently put forward an official inquiry in the Austrian parliament. In this inquiry, they accuse the Austrian section of the RCIT as well as the leading organization of the Egypt migrants of “Left-Wing Extremism”, “Antisemitism” and “Radical Islamism”. As a consequence, they ask the Federal Ministry of the Interior to officially investigate the two organizations. (3)

We therefore call upon all friends of the Palestinian Liberation Struggle, and all who defend democratic rights, to join our solidarity campaign, to sign our statement of protest and to send it to the Austrian parliament and the Ministry of the Interior. (4)

 

Footnotes

(1) For more information see: RCIT: Stop Judicial Prosecution for Solidarity with Palestine! https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/solidarity-proebsting/

(2) The List of Signatories can be viewed here: https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/list-signatures/

(3) For more information see: RKOB: Austria: Right-Wing Party Opens Parliamentary Inquiry against the RCIT Section. Biggest Opposition Party smears the Trotskyists for alleged “Left-Wing Extremism”, “Antisemitism” and “Radical Islamism” and asks the Federal Ministry of the Interior to officially investigate them, 29.01.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/parliamentary-inquiry-against-rcit-section/. See also RKOB: Austria: Press Conference on the Right-Wing Campaign against the Austrian Section of the RCIT and the Egyptian Community, 2 February 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/press-conference-rkob-vs-fpo/

(4) Sign the Call for Solidarity here: RKOB: Stop Prosecution for Solidarity with Palestine and for Opposition against the Military Dictatorship in Egypt! https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/solidarity-rkob-korat/