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New boss for Swiss human rights group

A parliamentarian from the Swiss People's Party, Lisbeth Fehr (file picture), has been appointed president of the Swiss branch of the International Society for Human Rights. She becomes the first woman to head the organisation.

A parliamentarian from the Swiss People's Party, Lisbeth Fehr (file picture), has been appointed president of the Swiss branch of the International Society for Human Rights. She becomes the first woman to head the organisation.

Fehr, a teacher from canton Zurich, was appointed at the Society's general assembly in Berne. She takes over less than four months after entering the House of Representatives on a People's Party ticket.

A member of the People's Party since 1991, Fehr recently criticised the lack of democracy in the party. In a thinly-veiled attack on the Zurich parliamentarian, Christoph Blocher, she said the party was dominated by its powerful Zurich faction, and that other voices are being drowned out.

She replaces Peter Kofmel, who is a member of the Radical party.

The Society also agreed its priorities for the year. The delegates decided they would focus on the human rights situation in Tibet, China and Georgia, as well as on the rights of women and children.

Priority will also be given to working more closely with the United Nations and the European Union.

swissinfo and agencies

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