Austrian police have demanded parliament lift immunity of prosecution for the leader of the populist Freedom Party (FPÖ) after he did not wear a mask at an outdoor demonstration against Wuhan coronavirus measures.
Police say they wish parliament to grant them a waiver in order to fine populist FPÖ leader Herbert Kickl 500 euros for not wearing an FFP2 facemask at an outdoor protest in the centre of Vienna on December 11th at the Heldenplartz square.
The Austrian parliamentary directorate has since confirmed they received a request from the police to lift Kickl’s parliamentary immunity, something the parliament had done in April of last year over a similar incident, Kronen Zeitung reports.
Kickl has been a critic of the Austrian government’s response to the Wuhan coronavirus, appearing and speaking at several protests against lockdowns and vaccine passport policies over the course of the pandemic and has been a fierce opponent of the government’s plan for mandatory vaccinations starting in February.
Unvaxed Austrian Populist Leader Could Be Barred from Large Events https://t.co/SH2x24DOfG
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 25, 2021
On Tuesday, Kickl released a statement on Facebook arguing against the mandatory vaccination policy saying, “The FPÖ is the only party that voted against compulsory vaccination in the health committee. The mandatory vaccination planned by [the government] lacks any scientific basis and is also unconstitutional!”
“For us, it’s about voluntariness. Everyone has to decide for themselves whether they want to be vaccinated or not. No Austrian should be forced to vaccinate,” he added.
Under the vaccine mandate, those who are not fully vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus could face large fines or even possible prison time but some police have expressed their own concerns over enforcing the legislation, which would begin on March 16th.
According to a report from the newspaper Heute, police officers are concerned that strict controls, which will be required at traffic stops and other checks, could damage their reputation in the eyes of the general public.
Undercover Police Officers to Inspect Vax Pass Papers as Austria ‘Considerably’ Intensifies Crackdown https://t.co/vnRrZ8zCtX
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 11, 2022
Werner Herbert, head of the police union AUF, said he was against using the police to enforce the mandates saying, “It is incomprehensible to me why the police are used here, in such an excess of controlling activity. I’m even talking about the fact that the police are used here for political purposes quite inappropriately!”
Earlier this month it was revealed that Austria was looking to deploy undercover police officers to inspect vaccination papers in public in order to catch those who might try and avoid uniformed officers.
In the region of Upper Austria, former police officers, some as old as 70, are being recruited to help enforce the lockdown rules as well.
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com
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