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Minaret appeal filed with Strasbourg court

An appeal against the decision by Swiss voters to ban the construction of minarets has been submitted to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

It was lodged on Tuesday afternoon, said Pierre de Preux, a lawyer acting for Hafid Ouardiri, the former spokesman of the Geneva mosque.

Ouardiri wants the Strasbourg court to rule that the ban is incompatible with the European human rights convention.

De Preux told the AP news agency that a letter had been sent to the federal government and to all the members of the Council of Europe to inform them of this step.

The chairman of the Strasbourg court, Jean-Paul Costa, earlier this month described the case as “legally complicated”. Plaintiffs must have exhausted the legal system in their home country before going to Strasbourg, but Switzerland’s highest court cannot hear cases that result from a popular vote.

In a national vote at the end of November, 57.5 per cent of those taking part voted in favour of an initiative to ban the construction of minarets.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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