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Court verdict

Asylum seeker detention ruled unlawful

An Afghan asylum seeker should not have been detained in Switzerland for two weeks before being eventually deported to Bulgaria, the Federal Court ruled on Wednesday.

Switzerland’s highest court said that the man’s rights had been violated by the unreasonably long duration of his legal process, during which he was unfairly denied his right to liberty. There was insufficient evidence to suggest the man may have tried to evade the authorities and stay in Switzerland illegally, the court ruled.

The asylum seeker arrived in Switzerland in December, but the authorities refused to look into his appeal for asylum as he had already made such a claim in Bulgaria. Under the Dublin regulations, asylum seekers cannot make multiple applications in different countries.

Having determined that his asylum application was invalid the State Secretariat for Migration ordered the man’s detention for a period of up to six weeks until he could be deported. The Federal Administrative Court in St Gallen took two weeks to hear his appeal and ruled that he should be sent back to Bulgaria.

On Wednesday, the Lausanne-based Federal Court said he should not have waited so long under detention before hearing his fate. The judge referred to the Dublin agreement which stipulates that appeals should be heard within 96 hours.

swissinfo.ch with agencies


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