Swiss court upholds entry ban against former Geneva mosque guard

The Petit-Saconnex mosque in northern Geneva Keystone / Dominic Favre

A French-Tunisian citizen who used to work as a security guard at Geneva’s main mosque has been banned from Switzerland for ten years due to his alleged links to religious fundamentalists, a Swiss court ruled on Friday, confirming an earlier decision.

This content was published on December 20, 2019 - 15:01

The measure imposed by the Federal Office of Police in June 2017, was confirmed by the Federal Administrative Court in a ruling published on Friday.

The French-Tunisian man lived just over the border in France and worked in Switzerland from 2006-2013 as a security guard at Switzerland’s biggest mosque in the Petit-Saconnex district of Geneva.

The federal police imposed a ban as they claimed the man was in regular contact with people who had been radicalised and that he posed a threat to Switzerland. The man had appealed to the Federal Administrative Court.

In its ruling on Friday, the court said the man had maintained regular contacts with several radicalised individuals who promoted the use of violence to achieve their objectives. One individual had travelled to the Turkish-Iraqi border to join the Islamic State militant group.

The court warned of the man’s “particularly worrying” links with members of Libya's Ansar al-Sharia Islamist militant group, which has been classified as a terrorist organisation by the Tunisian authorities.

The court underlined that radicalised people had frequented the Petit-Saconnex mosque in the past. It added that the former security guard had a criminal record and that he had not cooperated during the appeal’s process. Consequently, the judges ruled that the federal police’s analysis had not been exaggerated.

The man can appeal the decision at Switzerland’s Federal Court.

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