Deportation flights to start again

The Federal Migration Office has decided to resume the use of special flights to deport rejected asylum seekers.

This content was published on May 21, 2010 - 13:29

The controversial deportations were suspended two months ago after a Nigerian died shortly before such a flight.

The 29-year-old man, a convicted drug dealer, had refused to leave the country and was on hunger strike.

A medical team, including a doctor and paramedic, would supervise the deportations, the Migration Office said on Friday.

As a second measure, the cantonal authorities responsible for the person being flown out of the country have to hand over to the police the individual’s medical files.

Flights to Nigeria will not resume before the cause of death of the Nigerian asylum seeker is known, the Migration Office said.

His death in March was the third such in Switzerland. In 1999 a 27-year-old Palestinian suffocated in a lift at Zurich airport. He had been accompanied by three police officers. In 2001 a Nigerian suffocated in his cell after a show of police force.

There were 43 deportation flights last year, which returned 360 people to their home countries, mostly towards the Balkans and Africa.

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