Yesterday, Winter’s parliamentary immunity was lifted a unanimous vote in the immunity committee of the Austrian parliament, meaning that members of [her own party] FPÖ also voted for Winter’s immunity to be lifted. She will now be prosecuted for anti-Islam remarks she made during a provincial election campaign in January.
Winter said that she would welcome the lifting of her immunity since only court proceedings would enable her to clear her name. She called the imposition of charges against her an exercise in “political hatred by crazy, self-proclaimed thought-police.” It could not be, she added, that a person could be tried for expression of opinion in a democracy. There could be no political persecution in a country where the rule of law prevailed, she said, since such persecution could occur only in a “dictatorship of conscience.”