Swiss grilled about torture treaty

Switzerland has “zero tolerance” towards acts of torture and mistreatment, the deputy director of the Justice Office told United Nations experts on Friday.

This content was published on April 30, 2010

Representatives from the UN Committee against Torture received the assurance from Bernardo Stadelmann at the beginning of a discussion in Geneva about Switzerland’s latest report on its implementation of the Convention against Torture, which it ratified in 1986.

The ten experts focussed their questions on the expulsion of foreigners, the treatment of asylum requests, police violence and prison conditions.

They raised the case of a Nigerian who died at Zurich airport in March, when he was being forcibly repatriated, and called for independent observers to be present when such expulsions were taking place.

One of the experts said that complaints of police brutality were insufficiently investigated.

Prison overpopulation, especially in Geneva, and the detention of under-age asylum seekers were among the other subjects of concern.

One of the experts asked about the arrest of Hannibal Gadhafi, a son of the Libyan leader, in July 2008. She wanted to know about the duties of the police when servants make complaints against their employers, as in this case.

The discussions will continue on Monday.

Signatories to the Convention against Torture have to submit periodic reports on the way they are applying it. Switzerland’s last report was submitted in 2005. and agencies

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