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Syrian refugee Trial for border guard who watched woman miscarry baby

The Syrian family, captured on camera shortly after their ordeal by award winning photographer Yvain Genevay

(YVAIN GENEVAY)

A Swiss border guard accused of standing by as a pregnant Syrian woman lost her child on a train is to face a military tribunal, the Swiss authorities confirmed on Wednesday. 

The woman suffered the miscarriage in 2014 while being escorted by rail with her family from Vallorbe in canton Vaud to Domodossola in Italy. The family had been travelling on a train from Milan to Paris, via Switzerland, when they were turned back at the French-Swiss border with a group of fellow migrants.

The woman’s husband told Swiss media that border guards had ignored her pleas for help when she began bleeding. She collapsed when the train reached Domodossola and was rushed to hospital, but doctors were unable to save her child.

Italian doctors who treated the woman, who was 22 years old at the time, said her child could have been saved if Swiss authorities had acted right away.

An earlier investigation into the border guards’ actions found that mistakes may have been made and the issue was passed on to the military justice system. On Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the Swiss military justice department confirmed that one Swiss guard would face a tribunal later this year. 

However, it is as yet unclear exactly what charges the guard will be facing because the infant was unborn throughout the train journey. The military justice spokeswoman said the type of criminal charge would depend on establishing exactly where in the journey the baby died.

The Syrian family has since been granted asylum in Italy.

swissinfo.ch

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