Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

Citizenship refusal confirmed by federal court

An Algerian considered to be too close to his homeland’s Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) has seen his request for Swiss citizenship turned down by the Federal Court.

Judges in Lausanne confirmed an earlier decision by the Fribourg cantonal authorities, which considered the 61-year-old man as still being linked with the FIS.

During the naturalisation procedure he was heard by a Fribourg parliamentary committee. At that meeting, he described the FIS as a political party whose goals were to fight corruption and bring democracy to Algeria.

The committee vetoed his citizenship request in 2009, saying the FIS wanted to create an Islamic state and that it equated democracy with atheism. These positions, it added, were antithetical to Switzerland’s fundamental principles and legal system.

The court agreed, adding that the decision was not discriminatory. It pointed out that the refusal was largely based on the fact that the man had not distanced himself from FIS doctrine or its terrorist activities, presenting the movement as a democratic party.

The man was a member of the FIS until 1992, when it  was officially disbanded, and served as its secretary-general in the Algerian city of Oran.

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR