Poster critical of Israel: SBB takes decision to Federal Court

After the Federal Administrative Court upheld an appeal obliging the SBB to display a poster critical of Israel in Zurich's main train station, the railroads are now taking the matter to the Federal Supreme Court.

At the end of October 2009, on the basis of an internal regulation, SBB Exit of a poster critical of Israel in Zurich's main train station. The Federal Administrative Court ruled the ban unconstitutional on the grounds that train stations and station walls are part of the public space and that SBB is bound by fundamental rights. The ban issued was disproportionate and violated freedom of expression, the judges said. It does not endanger security or order in the station and does not hinder the circulation of passers-by and railroad operations.

SBB considers the Bernese judges' ruling to be an encroachment on its corporate responsibility to be able to protect its customers from sensitive or offensive poster content, the company said Monday. It must have the freedom to ban advertising that is tasteless, morally reprehensible or sensitive in terms of foreign policy. This should be done on the basis of practicable and implementable regulations, without each individual case having to be legally examined for its potential danger to rail operations.


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