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Nigerian asylum seeker dies during deportation

A 27-year-old Nigerian has died while being deported. Police said the man, who had sought asylum in Switzerland, died after resisting attempts to transfer him from canton Valais to Zurich Airport, where he was due to be placed on a flight out of the country.

This content was published on May 1, 2001 - 16:40

In a statement, canton Valais police said the prisoner became violent during the journey to the airport, and the officers accompanying him were forced to subdue him and finally place him in handcuffs.

They said that shortly afterwards the officers noticed that the prisoner had stopped breathing, and attempted to resuscitate him using artificial respiration. The statement added that a physician and two medics were called, but were unable to revive the man.

The case has been referred to an examining magistrate in Valais, who has ordered an autopsy.

The police statement said the man had been in custody awaiting deportation for several months, after being detained for drugs' offences.

The authorities are investigating a similar case, which occurred in 1999, when a Palestinian deportee suffocated after being bound and gagged during his deportation from Zurich Airport.

swissinfo with agencies

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