Poster critical of Israel: Federal Court grants SBB grace period

SBB does not have to hang a poster critical of Israel in Zurich's main train station for the time being, according to the Federal Court. The judges in Lausanne have granted suspensive effect to the appeal of the Federal Railways against the decision of the Federal Administrative Court.

The controversial poster had initially been displayed at several locations in the main train station in March 2009 on behalf of a member of Aktion Palästina-Solidarität. After three days, SBB arranged for its removal after being made aware of the politically explosive content.

The poster is directed against Israel's settlement policy and contains the sentence "Israel: built by force on the soil of the Palestinians" and the call "Injustice demands resistance! Last March, the Federal Administrative Court ordered the SBB to approve the poster following an appeal by the initiator. SBB appealed this ruling to the Federal Supreme Court. The judges in Lausanne have now granted the appeal suspensive effect. This means that SBB will not have to put up the disputed poster until it is definitively defeated.

According to the court, SBB has an overriding interest in being able to proceed according to its previous regulations until the legal situation regarding the commercial use of station walls is finally clarified. In contrast, the posting of the controversial Israel poster does not concern a short-term daily event. (sda)
 

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