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Cannabis farmer must serve his sentence

The parliament of canton Valais has decided against granting local cannabis farmer Bernard Rappaz a pardon from his prison term.

Rappaz, who is on a hunger strike, was sentenced to five years and eight months behind bars for various offences, including trading in cannabis.

The cantonal parliament, sitting behind closed doors in Sion on Thursday, decided by 113 votes to 14 against his request.

The Rappaz case has received high media attention in Switzerland, in particular because of the dilemma faced by the authorities.

The Federal Court, Switzerland’s highest instance, has ruled that Rappaz should be force fed if necessary, whereas Geneva University Hospital doctors refuse to do this, citing both medical and ethical grounds.

Rappaz was in hospital after a hunger strike earlier this year and was later placed under house arrest before an appeal was rejected. He was subsequently returned to prison, but had to be hospitalised again in mid-October as a result of hypoglycemia.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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