The Pelinka Case, or how an Austrian court protects Haider against criticism...!

Teun A. van Dijk teun at HUM.UVA.NL
Tue May 23 16:51:43 UTC 2000

Dear friends,

Please find attached a notice from the International Helsinki Federation of
Human Rights (IHF) about our colleague Anton Pelinka, who was found guilty by an
Austrian court for having told the truth about Haider. Those of us who have been
involved, both through their academic work and through other forms of protest,
in the struggle against racism in Europe are of course shocked (though not
surprised), not only because this directly involves our work, but also because
we often cooperated with Anton Pelinka. As you probably know, Ruth Wodak and I
are engaged in the project "Racism at the Top", which studies the way leading
politicians in Europe speak about immigration, immigrants and minorities. This
work of course also deals with Haider's discursive contributions to racism. This
may mean that if a prominent scholar such as Pelinka can be brought to court, it
may happen to Ruth or anybody else of us (especially in Austria) who tells the
truth about Haider.

In my opinion this case is very serious and a possible threat to our or any
other critical work on racism. Therefore, I urgently call on you as concerned
and critical scholars to provide support to Professor Pelinka, in the first
instance by posting the attached message in the (other) relevant lists, or to
send it to the media you have access to, so that the case becomes widely
publicized. I hope that the IHF and/or other organizations have other means to
organize a world-wide protest with the Austrian authorities. If so, I'll inform
you about this in a later message.

(Please do not include my own message when you forward the message of the IHF to
others, but write your own relevant lines for those you send it to).

Warm regards



Teun A. van Dijk
University of Amsterdam
Program of Discourse Studies


Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Institut Universitari de Lingüística Aplicada (IULA)
La Rambla 32
08002 Barcelona, Spain

Phone: +34-93-272.1200 (home/casa)
FAX:   +34-93-272.0106 (home/casa)

E-mail: teun at

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