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Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Swiss violated asylum law in ignoring thousands of Iraqi applicants

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The Swiss Federal Office for Migration violated asylum and constitutional law by ignoring 7,000 - 10,000 asylum applications lodged by Iraqis at Swiss embassies in Syria and Egypt between 2006 and 2008, an external inquiry into the matter by former federal Judge Michel Féraud has found. The government has taken note of the report.

Féraud said that around 3,000 outstanding applications were still legally valid and should be processed by the end of 2013. However, the Government has maintained that no disciplinary action will be taken due to the lapse of time and that officials have not abused their authority in failing to process the claims.

The Swiss Senate adopted a proposal for the abolishing of the asylum procedure from abroad in December 2011. Both former federal Judge Féraud and the Swiss Refugee Council consider that this procedure should be kept.

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