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Cause of Nigerian’s death confirmed

A second opinion has confirmed the cause of death for the Nigerian man who died after authorities tried to deport him in March 2010.

As the Winterthur public prosecutor’s office announced on Wednesday, the rejected 29-year-old asylum seeker had a serious heart problem.

That was the conclusion of both the Zurich Institute for Forensic Medicine and more recently, the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Justus-Liebig University Giessen in Germany.

The second opinion stated that the man could have died of heart failure even if he had not been on a hunger strike.

The report also confirmed that the deportation struggle alone at Zurich Airport was not to blame for his death; he could have died during other strenuous everyday activities.

Forced deportation flights out of Switzerland were suspended after the man’s death so that authorities could look into the matter. They resumed to Africa in July 2010 – but not to Nigeria.

The first flight bound for Nigeria took off from Zurich Airport last week with 19 rejected asylum seekers on board – but not without incident as two Nigerians resisted boarding.

Video footage showing police hitting and clubbing a struggling man have sparked criticism.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR