FPÖ visits Kadyrow

Austria News Briefs

News | Vienna Review | March 2012

The Freedom Party’s Vice Chairman Johann Gudenus claimed that Chechen refugees had no right to stay in Austria, following a visit to Chechen President Ramsan Kadyrow in early February, ostensibly to inquire about the security situation in the Russian region.

Calling the migrants "asylum swindlers and economic refugees" who could safely return to Chechnya, Gudunus met fierce criticism in the Austrian press. Heinz Patzelt, head of Amnesty International Austria told public radio Ö1 that the situation in the region remained "life threatening" and that Kadyrow stands accused of severe human rights abuses.

The FPÖ trip was the latest in a series of controversial visits by party members to foreign dictators, including Saddam Hussein in 2002 and Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

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