March 8, 2018 / 1:03 AM / 14 days ago

Facebook removes anti-immigrant post by aide to Hungary's PM

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Facebook has removed a video posted by the Hungarian prime minister’s chief of staff in which he said immigrants were responsible for increased crime in the capital of neighboring Austria and were pushing “white Christians” out.

FILE PHOTO - A giant logo is seen at Facebook's headquarters in London, Britain, December 4, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Janos Lazar, the top aide to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban who himself was called a racist by the U.N. human rights chief this week, accused Facebook of censorship after the social network removed his post.

A screenshot posted by Lazar online said the post had been removed for violating Facebook’s community guidelines. Facebook was not immediately available for comment.

In the video Lazar posted to his page on Tuesday, he addresses the camera in a street in Favoriten, the district of Vienna with the most foreigners living in it.

“Disorder is much higher, there is much more dirt and litter in the streets and the few Viennese still living here say that crime is a lot higher and people are living in bigger fear,” Lazar says, accompanied by downbeat piano music and shots of Muslim immigrants.

“If we let them in and they are going to live in our towns, the result will be crime, poverty, dirt and impossible conditions in our cities,” Lazar said.

The Social Democrats (SPO), who govern Vienna in coalition with the Greens, rejected the comments, saying they were part of a “racist and xenophobic election strategy” by Orban’s Fidesz party ahead of elections on April 8.

Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; Additional reporting by Francois Murphy and David Ingram; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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