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Swiss cut off aid to migrants in Libya

Switzerland has withdrawn its support for a refugee programme in Libya, the foreign ministry has confirmed – a move described by Amnesty International as fatal.

This content was published on September 15, 2009 - 12:01

Between 2007 and 2009, Switzerland contributed SFr520,000 ($500,000) to a United Nations refugee agency programme for migrants in transit through the North African country.

The foreign ministry confirmed the funds had been cut off in a written response to a parliamentary question.

The level of Swiss financial support fell dramatically after the arrest in Geneva in July 2008 of a son of Libyan president Moammar Gaddafi and the ensuing diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

The human rights organisation Amnesty International criticised the Swiss decision, arguing it would not impose any pressure on the Libyan regime.

The price would end up being paid by detained asylum seekers living in camps in the most precarious conditions, Amnesty said.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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