A Nigerian asylum seeker has died at Zurich Airport shortly before he was due to be sent home on a special flight to Lagos.
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. Immediate attempts to resuscitate him were to no avail.
The office of the Zurich public prosecutor is to investigate the death and an autopsy has been ordered. The Swiss section of Amnesty International has called for an independent and impartial inquiry.
After the incident, the Federal Migration Office in Bern ordered a halt to special flights and said it regretted the man’s death.
The Nigerian, a convicted drug dealer, was due to board the flight on Wednesday evening with 15 others who had refused to leave the country despite expulsion orders.
Swiss police say such passengers are restrained on the special flights for security reasons.
swissinfo.ch and agencies