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Swedish TV channel refuses to broadcast anti-burqa ad

An elderly pensioner chased by burqa-clad women pushing prams – the bizarre scene comes from a far-right campaign advert that has been turned down by a Swedish TV channel on the grounds that it incites religious hatred.


AFP - A Swedish TV station on Friday refused to broadcast a campaign advert by a far-right political party because it contained racial hatred, the broadcaster said.

The advert by the Sweden Democrats, a far-right party that could become a kingmaker after tight September 19 legislative elections, showing a race between an elderly woman and several women in burqas pushing prams with a slogan promising to safeguard pension funding at the expense of immigration.
"We decided not to broadcast it," Gunnar Gidefeldt, communications director for TV4, told AFP.
Swedish law on freedom of expression prohibits messages that contain hate grounded on race and religion, said Gidefeldt. "In this case, it is against religion," he said.
According to an August 20 survey, a month ahead of voting, the Sweden Democrats were polling at 3.6 percent of the vote, just shy of the minimum of four percent that is required to enter parliament.
If they can reach this threshold for the first time, political analysts believe the party could be in a powerful position with the two main blocs on course to split the vote.


"All policies are about priorities”, the ad begins. The first title reads “state budget”. When the digit reaches a certain amount, an alarm is sounded and a voice says: “Now you have a choice”.
The pensioner and “immigrants” (as labelled in the video) then have to race for the money. The voiceover tells voters that “On September 19 you can choose to stop immigration, or to stop pensions”. The ad ends with a slogan promising to safeguard pension funding by reducing immigration.



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