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Police hit back at deportation flight criticism

Swiss police have called for rejected asylum seekers to be medicated and bound with metal handcuffs before they are put on deportation flights.

In a vitriolic letter sent to the Federal Migration Office, the Swiss Police Federation accused it of failing to assure the physical security of police in its organisation of deportation flights.

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by Le Temps newspaper, comes in the wake of damaging television footage showing police officers clubbing a Nigerian asylum seeker who had refused to board a deportation flight in July.

The letter, a copy of which was also sent to President Micheline Calmy-Rey and Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga, makes no mention of the police actions during the incident. 

“We consider it outrageous that certain people… take the liberty to spit in the faces of police officers, to insult them and physically attack them with a view to escaping forced expulsion to their country of origin,” the police federation wrote.

The federation, which represents about 23,000 police officers, also accused the Migration Office of lying to the media when it said that the July 7 flight had taken place without incident.

“That does not reflect the truth and you know it,” the letter said. “It is only by chance that no one was seriously injured.”

The Migration Office declined to comment on the specifics of the letter when contacted by the newspaper, saying that it planned to reply to the association in the coming days.

swissinfo.ch and agencies



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