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Austria's Kurz backs justice minister against online hate

BERLIN – Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz offered his “full support” on Thursday to the country's new justice minister in the face of online hatred over her Bosnian origins.

Alma Zadic is one of four ministers from the Green party in the conservative Kurz's new Cabinet, which was sworn in on Tuesday. She was the first Austrian of an immigrant background to join the government.

Zadic, whose family fled the conflict in Bosnia when she was 10, recently has faced a flood of online hatred targeting her origins. Austrian media reported that she has been given round-the-clock police protection.

Kurz wrote Thursday on Twitter that “online hatred is a repugnant phenomenon of our time. This kind of thing can have no place here!”

He added that his government “will act resolutely against hatred on the net,” whatever its source, and added: “Alma Zadic & all others who are affected by it have my full support!”

Integration Minister Susanne Raab said “hatred on the net and in particular hatred against women who are well integrated in Austria and work for a harmonious life together has no place,” the Austria Press Agency reported.