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Old 09.10.2007, 06:16
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[chainsaw attack] What's happening in/to this country?

I came across this forum as part of some research I've been doing prior to visiting Switzerland again.

I live in the USA (San Francisco, CA) and visited Zurich in 2001 - I had a fantastic time. I thought the people were great and the city was beautiful albeit a bit pricey.

From all the comments/complaints I've been reading on this forum it seems the country's changed quite a bit since then and I'm afraid/hesitant (as an Asian person) to visit here. Why should I spend my hard earned money at a place where foreigners seem to be not welcome?

Now, I read this in today's Washington Post newspaper, which pretty much seals the deal for me (not to visit):

ZURICH -- At 1:30 a.m., Antonio da Costa heard a knock at the back entrance of the McDonald's restaurant where he worked as a janitor after closing hours.

He opened the door, he recalled in an interview. There stood two men, each gripping a chain saw. One yanked the cord on his saw, stepped toward da Costa and shouted above the roaring machine: "We don't need Africans in our country. We're here to kill you!"

The two masked assailants cornered da Costa and began raking him with the whirring chain-saw blades. They slashed one arm to the bone, nearly sliced off his left thumb and hacked his face, neck and chest, the 37-year-old Angolan said, his voice quavering as he recounted the May 1 attack.

The gruesome assault in a suburb of Zurich -- consistently ranked in international surveys as one of the world's most livable cities -- dramatized the surge in racism and xenophobia as Switzerland confronts its most difficult social transformation in modern times.


More here:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?hpid=topnews

Peace
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Old 09.10.2007, 09:00
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Re: What's happening in/to this country?

That is utterly abhorrant. That last line really struck a chord with me, poor guy.

For some reason, I know in the UK we have had a bout of kids being shot/stabbed in the street and even the Damilola Tailor thing recently, but this actually seems far more gruesome and worrying. I guess because it was presumably adults that did it to this guy.
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Old 09.10.2007, 09:13
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Re: What's happening in/to this country?

I can't recall this being reported this side of the Rostigraben - has anyone seen it in the local Zurich news?
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Old 09.10.2007, 09:24
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Re: What's happening in/to this country?

pfff, this sounds way too far fetched to be true. Yea let's use a noisy chain-saw at night so that the whole neighborhood can hear. Anyone hear about this in the local Swiss news? I believe it would be all over the media if it did really happen.
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Old 09.10.2007, 09:25
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Re: What's happening in/to this country?

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I can't recall this being reported this side of the Rostigraben - has anyone seen it in the local Zurich news?
Nope I searched 20 Minutes and google.ch for 'Antonio da Costa' and came up with nothing. Is that an Angolan name anyway?
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Old 09.10.2007, 09:26
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Re: What's happening in/to this country?

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Nope I searched 20 Minutes and google.ch for 'Antonio da Costa' and came up with nothing. Is that an Angolan name anyway?
Angola used to be a Portuguese colony.
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Old 09.10.2007, 09:44
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Re: What's happening in/to this country?

I was just reading this when I got to my desk - and I was shocked... A quick google search did not turn up anything at all, so now I'm stumped... I know newspapers (or any kind of news agency) are not really reliable anymore these days, but that even surprised me.... any regular readers here that may shed some light on their political direction etc..?

I mean I know that most of the SVP is a mean bunch - there is really no reason to make anything up - e.g. a gory news story and then mix it with political reporting.... does not sound kosher to me!
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Old 09.10.2007, 10:00
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Re: What's happening in/to this country?

Hi,

Here is a reference on polizeibericht.ch to the attack:

http://www.polizeibericht.ch/ger_det...genaufruf.html

Cheers,

Nick
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Old 09.10.2007, 10:02
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Re: What's happening in/to this country?

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I was just reading this when I got to my desk - and I was shocked... A quick google search did not turn up anything at all, so now I'm stumped... I know newspapers (or any kind of news agency) are not really reliable anymore these days, but that even surprised me.... any regular readers here that may shed some light on their political direction etc..?
Can confirm that this has never before been reported in the mainstream press (I have access to a large news database). Odd to say the least for something that was supposed to have happened on 1st May.

Washington Post is usually one of the more reliable (less unreliable?), less sensationist US newspaper and one of the few that isn't completely rabidly conservative.

Last edited by baboon; 09.10.2007 at 10:03. Reason: Preceeding post confirmed story!
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Old 09.10.2007, 10:10
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Re: What's happening in/to this country?

Quote:
the 37-year-old Angolan said
Quote:

Ein 43-jährig Angolaner
Is this "statistically relevant" ?
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Old 09.10.2007, 10:10
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Re: What's happening in/to this country?

this is really bizarre. I'd convinced myself that there's no way this could be true, but the WP are quoting sources from within Switzerland.

Asked about da Costa's account, Swiss People's Party legislator Schluer said: "Sometimes a mistake can happen. I don't say all Swiss men and women are the most ideal human beings in the world."

Philipp Rothenbach, prosecutor in the case, said in a written statement, "The search for the unknown perpetrators is ongoing." He added that there were no independent witnesses to the attack, but said, "The investigators have pictures from a video camera from McDonald's."

My god - its outrageous that there's almost no media coverage. Wonder what the story would've been had the attack been some Angolan's on a Swiss.

Last edited by adrian76; 09.10.2007 at 10:13. Reason: Ah - so there is one report.....
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Old 09.10.2007, 10:13
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Re: What's happening in/to this country?

hmm, I would imagine that the sensationalist press would have a field day with this one. Perhaps after the initial report it was found out not to be true, or grossly over exaggerated? I mean, how often do you hear of chain-saw attacks!? The 'weapon' itself is just too cumbersome and noisy. Aren't there camera's installed at Mc. Donald's ?
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Old 09.10.2007, 10:14
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Re: What's happening in/to this country?

Thanks Nick,

Didn't think of looking there... I'm just amazed that something like that has not been reported widely.. I mean Blick would have a field day with huuuge headlines for something like that... But then again it was a foreigner, not a swiss, so they might not be interested. But at least one major newspaper would have to pick up on something like that, no?

I guess then that they have not found anybody yet... would they not release the photos from the security camera (if they really have any) with such a heinous crime??

Even more stumped now... I was not in the country when this happened, but would expect it to be widely reported...
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Old 09.10.2007, 10:16
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Re: What's happening in/to this country?

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Wonder what the story would've been had the attack been some Angolan's on a Swiss.
It would have certainly given the white sheep something to kick off the white cross...

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 09.10.2007, 10:19
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Re: What's happening in/to this country?

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Hi,

Here is a reference on polizeibericht.ch to the attack:

http://www.polizeibericht.ch/ger_det...genaufruf.html

Cheers,

Nick
Incredible. As we all know the press is quick to point out when a crime is committed by a foreigner and we are all irritated when the nationalities or skin colours of the criminals are listed.

When I first read this thread I thought it was a hoax, I'd never heard of this. Surely someone being attacked by a chainsaw is newsworthy? We see far lesser crimes reported every single day (when committed by foreigners), so why on earth did this story have to surface on the other side of the world?

The above link to the story found on that website is totally in German. I won't translate the whole thing, but I can confirm that no details about the attackers are given, apart from that they were two people. It also said that the reason for the attack was not known. However, it seems the Washington Post reported that the reason for the attack was racially motivated - surely this also makes the story newsworthy.

So that kind of seals it for me. The media in this country (e.g. NZZ) has no problems accepting racist SVP advertising, but they somehow turn a blind eye to a story like this?
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Old 09.10.2007, 10:22
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Re: What's happening in/to this country?

Hi,

Here are some references in 20min to the story:

http://www.20min.ch/tools/suchen/story/24066896

http://www.20min.ch/tools/suchen/story/30893946

It does not mention the motive being racist though.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 09.10.2007, 10:22
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Re: What's happening in/to this country?

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this is really bizarre. I'd convinced myself that there's no way this could be true, but the WP are quoting sources from within Switzerland.

Asked about da Costa's account, Swiss People's Party legislator Schluer said: "Sometimes a mistake can happen. I don't say all Swiss men and women are the most ideal human beings in the world."

Philipp Rothenbach, prosecutor in the case, said in a written statement, "The search for the unknown perpetrators is ongoing." He added that there were no independent witnesses to the attack, but said, "The investigators have pictures from a video camera from McDonald's."

My god - its outrageous that there's almost no media coverage. Wonder what the story would've been had the attack been some Angolan's on a Swiss.
Of course the possibility exists that the story was not true, except that the Washington Post has more details than the only other source we've been able to find. The statements from the SVP seem to corroborate the story, therefore could you please post a link to wherever those statements came from (since some could argue that text could simply be typed up, but a link to a website is a stronger evidence since people can check the site for themselves)
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Old 09.10.2007, 10:27
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Re: What's happening in/to this country?

Just found the Blick report: http://www.blick.ch/news/schweiz/artikel61655

seems they did report after all... not much facts though and no comments or anything from Police or the like....
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Old 09.10.2007, 10:29
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Re: [chainsaw attack] What's happening in/to this country?

Yep - statements from the SVP, and the prosecutor from the case (from page two of the original report).

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?hpid=topnews
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Old 09.10.2007, 10:33
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Re: What's happening in/to this country?

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Just found the Blick report: http://www.blick.ch/news/schweiz/artikel61655

seems they did report after all... not much facts though and no comments or anything from Police or the like....
A small quote (in German) from the article:

Quote:
Warum sie zur Säge gegriffen haben, ist noch nicht bekannt.
(Why they attacked with a chainsaw is not yet known).

I just wanted to say - to be fair to the few news sources that did report this story (and it seems all of us missed these reports) at the time this was reported very little was known - the police were not allowed by the doctor to talk to the victim. The additional details in the Washington Post article obviously came out afterwards in an interview.

However, it seems that this story was not followed up on (at least not that I know of). We all know if this had been a rape, say by foreigners against a Swiss girl, the press coverage would have lasted for months (as was the case earlier this year).
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