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Amnesty criticises xenophobic trend

The Swiss branch of Amnesty International says immigrants and asylum seekers belong to the groups in Switzerland that suffer the most from human rights abuses.

In its annual report, Amnesty wrote it was most concerned by Swiss voters’ approval last November of a rightwing proposal to expel foreign residents found guilty of committing crimes.

Amnesty called the decision “a clear setback from a human rights perspective” and implementing the harsher rules would be “an infringement on Switzerland’s commitments to upholding international law”.

The human rights organisation accuses the rightwing Swiss People’s Party of inflaming racism and hatred of immigrants.

The People’s Party was not only behind the expulsion initiative, but also the successful 2009 campaign to ban the building of minarets.

On the positive side, Amnesty gave the government good marks for setting up a commission to prevent torture as well as a centre to ensure the implementation of human rights obligations at all levels of the Swiss political system.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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