State security chief warns: “The situation will worsen until mandatory vaccination is introduced”
Austria is currently experiencing a “high-level constitutional security threat”, warned the new head of the DSN, Omar Haijawi. The DSN boss and Interior Minister Karner saw at a Skype conference a “further escalation of the situation of violence up to the introduction of compulsory vaccination”.
The head of state security says the number of demos will increase
After demonstrators attacked media representatives – for example a cameraman from exxpressTV was knocked down at one of the mandatory anti-vaccination demonstrations – Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP), DSN Director Omar Haijawi, Security Director Franz Ruf and Prof. Dr. Nicolas Stockhammer (Danube University Krems) via Skype conference on the current and expected security situation at the demonstrations by opponents of vaccination and coronavirus critics as well as on the threat situation for journalists.
The prognoses were not really positive: For example, the director of the reformed state security DSN, Omar Hajawi, emphasized that the country was in a “high constitutional threat”. He also expects this situation to “worsen by the date of the introduction of mandatory vaccination”. The employees of the DSN (until recently BVT) are very concerned about the “many border crossings” before the demos in Vienna.
“Red Line”: attacks on journalists
The interior minister also had bad news for the editors-in-chief and journalists of the main media houses who were connected via Skype. Gerhard Karner (ÖVP): “Participation in the demos will continue to develop, the number of demonstrations will continue to increase. We are experiencing new irrationalities in the time of the pandemic. “
Regarding the previously documented attacks by opponents of vaccination requirements on journalists, Karner said: “The journalists are the bearers of the democratic principle in Austria. Threats against media workers in demonstrations or otherwise are a sign of deep anti-democratic attitudes. This red line must not be crossed. “
Interior Minister Gerhard Karner: “The number of demos will increase.”
“Don’t panic” – but warning of letter bombs
Even with a tense security situation, one does not want to “spread panic”, emphasized the management trio of the Austrian executive. However, media representatives are advised “not to open any letters or parcels that have cords, some of which lead inside”. The media representatives understood the warning about letter bombs, but at least the addition was added: “We had this in the past.”
The media were also advised to tape the TV station logos on cameras and clothing when filming during the demonstrations and to contact the police officer responsible for media work before filming began.
Improved information would build confidence
At this Skype meeting with the Minister of the Interior, the eXXpress asked for more data security for all Austrians: It is understandable that many demonstrators also protest because trust in the numbers and data disseminated by the federal government often dwindles if three in a day different corona numbers are published or there are different numbers of the occupancy of the intensive care beds. Correct, fast data delivery would also strengthen trust in Austria’s media.
Prof. Dr. Nicola Stockhammer from Danube University Krems reported from his analysis of the current demonstrations: “The inhibition threshold for violence is falling. The mixture is highly toxic, this amount is radicalized. And we recognize a phenomenon: the attempt to delegitimize the state. ” He fears “a further polarization”.
Radical groups mingle with the demonstrators – state security sees this as “a great danger”