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Nigerian deportation flights resume

Switzerland has resumed its special deportation flights of rejected asylum seekers to Nigeria.

A Swiss International Air Lines flight carrying 19 Nigerians took off from Zurich on Thursday for Lagos, the Federal Migration Office said.

However, the special flight did not proceed without incident. A spokesman for the Migration Office said two Nigerians who physically resisted boarding were not put on the flight.

The German-language television news programme, 10 to 10, showed a video of policemen punching one of the men, and another clubbing him as they attempted to carry him onto the aircraft.

Michael Glauser of the Migration Office admitted to 10 to 10 that the “preparation on the ground had not gone as planned”.

Following the suspension of deportation flights in March 2010 due to the death of a Nigerian asylum seeker, the federal authorities agreed to allow independent observers to monitor the deportation process.

On board Thursday’s flight were two members of the National Commission for the Prevention of Torture. Also on board were four members of the Nigeria Immigration Service.

The special flights had been suspended following the death of a Nigerian asylum seeker at Zurich airport in March 2010. The 29-year-old man, who had been on a hunger strike in protest at his extradition, fell ill shortly after he was forcibly restrained.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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