Police Ask Austrian Minister to Oppose Compulsory Vax in Open Letter

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - APRIL 01: Police officers patrol Kaertner Strasse shopping street as it stands empty and its shops closed on the first day of an Easter shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic on April 01, 2021 in Vienna, Austria. Authorities have declared the Easter period from April 1 to April …
Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images

An open letter on behalf of hundreds of police officers in Austria has asked the nation’s Interior Minister to oppose compulsory vaccination.

Austria’s Interior Minister, Gerhard Karner, has been asked in an open letter penned on behalf of a group of officers to oppose compulsory vaccination.

While the letter was not penned on behalf of an official trade union, the document does claim to be sent on behalf of 600 officers “from all over Austria who have come together informally”.

According to a report by Die Presse, the group also claims that they are “neither right-wing nor left-wing extremists” nor “conspiracy theorists”, but that they merely have “concerns about the rule of law, freedom of expression and fundamental rights as well as health”.

Minister Karner is also warned in the letter about internal tensions and conflicts within the police, and that he must expect to lose “numerous motivated, committed and qualified officials” over obligatory vaccination, as well as other “threatened legal measures”.

The letter concludes that the minister should work to ensure no mandatory vaccination requirement comes into force, either for the police or for the general public, as well as to put an end to “discrimination of unvaccinated colleagues” so officers can return their focus to the core tasks of police work.

The open letter was signed by the group’s spokesman, police pastor Uwe Eglau, according to the Die Presse report, as well as two other officers.

Despite the letter’s warnings, the Austrian Ministry for the Interior has responded saying that COVID restrictions implemented have been well received by Austria’s police.

“With around 85 per cent vaccination rate for the 32,000 police officers we can say on the part of the Interior Ministry that the measures to contain the pandemic are being implemented by the executive are very well received and implemented,” read a statement seen by Kronen Zeitung.

“In particular, compliance with the 3G regulation is an essential measure for both self-protection and the protection of citizens. We would like to thank all police officers who for many months have conscientiously supported the necessary measures, conscientiously implement them and thus do justice to their role model effect,” it continued.

Meanwhile, the Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs — or Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) — has welcomed the letter, the party’s Security spokesman Hannes Amesbauer seeing the document as proof of “peaceful resistance against the black-green Corona regime, the disproportionate coercive measures and the divisive battle rhetoric”.

Austria had announced last year its intentions to implement a regime of mandatory vaccination by February.

Under the nation’s original plan, the entire country would have been required to be vaccinated against the Chinese Coronavirus, with those who remained unjabbed facing hefty fines, as well as possible prison sentences.

However, due to what appears to be miscommunication between various government officials, major parts of the plan will only become legally enforceable after April 1st, with other sections to remain legally impossible even after that point.

A number of Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs (SPÖ) have since joined calls from the FPÖ for the government to scrap the plan entirely.

“In the Federal Council I will refuse to give my consent to a handicraft vaccination botch,” said SPÖ Federal Council Member David Egger.

Another one of the party’s politicians, Burgenland governor Hans Peter Doskozil, also raised the issue regarding the consequences of the plan’s failure in the courts.

“What if the Constitutional Court said in one year that it was unconstitutional? That would be a disaster,” the governor said, adding that the measure was “ultimately this form of compulsory vaccination polarizes further and leads to division”.

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