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Hate speech has 'no place' in Austria, says Kurz, after Bosnian-born minister receives abuse

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Alma Zadic in April 2018.
Alma Zadic in April 2018.   -   Copyright  SPÖ Presse und Kommunikation via Wikimedia
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Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz strongly condemned hate speech on Thursday after the appointment of a minister with Bosnian origins unleashed online abuse.

Alma Zadic, the newly-appointed Justice Minister, is the first Austrian with an immigrant background to have entered government.

Zadic is one of four ministers from the Green Party, which recently joined a coalition with Kurz's conservative People's Party (OVP).

Hate speech "is an obnoxious phenomenon of our time. This kind of thing has no place here," Kurz wrote on Twitter.

He also vowed to "act resolutely against online abuse — whether from the left, Islamist or right", adding that "Alma Zadic and everyone else targeted by it have my total support!"

The country's Minister for Integration, Susanne Raab, also posted her support on Facebook, saying "hate on the net must have no place in Austria".

Twitter has recently unveiled plans to combat online hate, allowing users to control who can reply to their tweets.

The social media platform says they "want to help people feel safe participating in the conversation on Twitter".

Alma Zadic's family fled the Bosnian war and arrived in Austria in 1994 when she was just 10.

Her election as an MP in 2017 already drew her some racist abuse which ramped up online when the Green party entered coalition talks with the OVP in late 2019 after a video scandal imploded the OVP's previous power-sharing deal with the far-right Freedom Party of Austria.

Local media is reporting that she has been given round-the-clock protection.

Watch Seana Davis' report in #TheCube above.