The Swiss Council of States voted on
19 March for the expulsion of terrorists to their country of origin regardless
of the possibility of being subjected to death penalty or torture upon their
Contrary to the advice of the
Minister of Justice, Karin Keller-Sutter, the motion was finally passed by 22
votes to 18.
The motion targets persons convicted
for terrorist acts thus, posing a threat to the security of Switzerland even
after the execution of their sentence. Many convicted terrorists have remained
in Switzerland due to the principle of deportation to a safe destination.
The Swiss Minister of Justice Pascale
Bruderer expressed regret over the decision:
“No one can be returned to the
territory of a state in which he is at risk of torture or any other cruel and
inhuman punishment or treatment. Switzerland would play the game of
executioners in contravention of the principle of non-refoulement,”
Bruderer is an elected socialist.
However, the independent Thomas
Minder shared his view that the decision was made in view of the sovereignty of
Alternate solutions have been
considered. For example, The Federal
Council proposed to keep under house arrest persons convicted of terrorism who
have served their sentences but cannot be expelled.
The Swiss Minister of Justice also
suggested that some individuals expelled by the Federal Office of the Police
for being a security threat will be accorded social assistance while those who
were excluded by a body other than the Federal Office, will only be given
The minister has offered another
solution whereby none the terrorists will be given social support but be
entitled to emergency aid, “to prevent social assistance from being used to
Meanwhile, Amnesty International has
criticized the Swiss parliament after it voted in favor of the motion.
The group said that it is in violation of
international law and the decision was sending a negative signal to the rest of