German satirical magazine Titanic posted the picture on Twitter which shows Austrian conservative Sebastian Kurz, who won last Sunday’s election, with a target over his chest.
The tweet has caused a storm of criticism from Austrians who voted Kurz and the Austrian People’s Party into first place in Sunday’s national election.
— TITANIC (@titanic) October 16, 2017
Reactions have been not only negative but some have even alleged that the Tweet may be breaking the law in Austria as it seems to call for the assassination of the 31-year-old politician who is expected to be Austria’s next chancellor.
The official Twitter account for the Vienna police even commented on the tweet saying: “We have already forwarded this to the relevant authority.”
Wir haben dies bereits an die zuständige Stelle weitergeleitet.
— POLIZEI WIEN (@LPDWien) October 16, 2017
One user commented on the post saying: “Call to murder under the guise of satire – you’re disturbed! If your issue was not that expensive, I’d use it as toilet paper.”
The Titanic account replied tweeting: “If you get a subscription it is quite cheap.”
According to Austria’s largest newspaper Kronen Zeitung, who spoke with lawyer Christian Solmecke, it is unlikely there will be any criminal proceedings against the magazine.
Mr. Solmecke, who specialises in internet law, said that despite the suggestion to assassinate the ÖVP leader the tweet was, “satirical, not a statement meant seriously”.
The comparison to the Nazi party is not unique to the satirical magazine, either. Earlier this week, The New York Times published an opinion piece with the title, “In Election, Austria’s Nazi Past Raises Its Head,” alongside a picture of Sebastian Kurz.
The New York Times editorial board mentioned that the anti-mass migration Freedom Party (FPÖ) was “founded by ex-Nazis” but failed to mention that the left-wing Social Democrats paid a man named Tal Silberstein to create a Facebook page filled with anti-Semitic content to attack Kurz during the campaign.
German media have made similar kinds of attacks against U.S. President Donald Trump with a cover of the magazine Der Spiegel showing the president holding the decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty invoking images of the Islamic State terror group.