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Extremism Swiss army takes measures against right-wing extremism

soldiers with rifles

Men aged 18 and over are conscripted for compulsory military service in Switzerland; women may volunteer.

(Keystone)

The Swiss army has disarmed or suspended a handful of its members linked to right-wing extremism. In total, the army checked on 49 people last year. 

In 2017, the Swiss army followed up on 42 reports in connection with right-wing extremism. Nine people required precautionary measures such as a security check, suspension or the turning in of their weapons. 

The figures are somewhat higher than the average of the past five years. About two thirds of the extremism reports last year had to do with right-wing extremism, announced the Defence Ministryexternal link on Monday. In total there were 21 such reports. 

+ A year ago, a photo of Swiss soldiers saluting a swastika stirred controversy 

There were eight reports of jihad-motivated extremism, about half as many as in the previous year. Ten had to do with non-violent extremism, and another three were regarding ethno-nationalist extremism. 

Conscripts may be excluded from the Swiss army if they are considered to be at risk for violence. The screenings are carried out by the specialised military service “Extremism in the Army”.

SDA/ATS, swissinfo.ch, sm

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