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Nationality Swiss revoke citizenship of radicalised dual nationals

Swiss passport

Swiss passports will be revoked for dual nationals in certain cases

(Keystone)

The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) has started proceedings to strip several radicalised dual nationals of their citizenship, Swiss public television SRF reports.

“We can confirm that at present there are proceedings to withdraw Swiss citizenship underway. There are fewer than five cases,” SEMexternal link spokeswoman Katrin Schmitter told SRF.external link

Switzerland is only allowed to strip citizenship from dual nationals. The proceedings are mostly aimed at people who leave Switzerland to fight for militant groups such as the so-called Islamic State (IS) and who have carried out serious terror-related or other crimes. These are people whose “behaviour is detrimental to Switzerland’s interests or reputation”, Schmitter said.

The SEM did not say whether the persons concerned are outside Switzerland or back in the country.

According to the Federal Intelligence Service, 20 dual nationals out of a total of 93 people have left Switzerland since 2001 to fight with militant groups, according to figures from February this yearexternal link.

The first case over stripping citizenship dates back two years and concerned a joint Swiss-Italian citizen. It caused an outcry at the time and legal clarifications were needed. It was found that the legal criteria were too vague so it was agreed to tighten them up. The change came into force officially in January 2018.external link

+ Read more about the background to this issue here

The case against the Swiss-Italian citizen has since been suspended. He is thought to have died in Syria, SRF reports.

SRF/swissinfo.ch/ilj

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