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Swiss court grants asylum rights to Afghan women

An Afghan woman in Pakistan.
An Afghan woman arrives at a refugee holding camp for verification in Karachi, Pakistan, November 3, 2023. Keystone / Rehan Khan

The Federal Administrative Court has upheld an appeal by two Afghan women against their deportation from Switzerland. Consequently, they must be granted asylum in the Alpine country.

The court upheld the new asylum practice of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).

A self-determined life for women and girls in Afghanistan is not possible under the current regime, the Swiss court concluded in a judgement published by the NZZ am Sonntag on Sunday. According to the court, this discrimination is a significant motive for persecution under refugee law.

+ Asylum requests from Afghan women rise sharply in Switzerland

In September 2022, the SEM rejected the two women’s asylum applications and ordered them to be deported from Switzerland. The Afghan women lodged an appeal against this decision.

+ Why Switzerland has been turning away most Afghan asylum applications

In July 2023, however, the SEM changed its practice and, following a recommendation by the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA), had decided to grant asylum to women from Afghanistan as a rule.

This decision and two related motions filed by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party will be discussed in an extraordinary session of parliament next week.

This news story has been written and carefully fact-checked by an external editorial team. At SWI swissinfo.ch we select the most relevant news for an international audience and use automatic translation tools such as DeepL to translate it into English. Providing you with automatically translated news gives us the time to write more in-depth articles. You can find them here

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