UN criticises tightened Swiss policy on Eritreans

One of the United Nations’ top human rights experts says Switzerland had no good reason to crack down on Eritreans. François Crépeau, a Canadian lawyer who serves as the UN’s special rapporteur on the human rights

One of the United Nations’ top human rights experts says Switzerland had no good reason to crack down on Eritreans.

François Crépeau, a Canadian lawyer who serves as the UN’s special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, lashed out at Switzerland’s recent decision to tighten its asylum policy towards Eritreans in an interview with two Swiss newspapers on Friday.

On February 2, the Federal Administrative Court said Switzerland would no longer recognise Eritreans as refugees solely on grounds of having fled their country illegally. Until last summer, leaving Eritrea illegally was considered a legitimate reason for asylum, since whoever did so faced up to five years in prison in Eritrea.

However, the court decided “the illegal exit [from Eritrea] cannot in itself justify recognition as a refugee”, pointing to recent cases of Eritreans returning safely for short home visits after gaining asylum status in Switzerland.

Crépeau, whose job involves investigating human rights violations and promoting sound policies globally, said in an interview with the Tages-Anzeiger and Berner Zeitung there was no evidence that someone returning to Eritrea would not face punishment.

“Switzerland must be certain, in every single case, that a return for an individual will not be problematic. This requires a mechanism that can check that after returning nothing indeed happens,” he said.

Crépeau said Switzerland was “pretty much on its own” on this issue and warned against tightening policy based on doubts. Instead, he concluded, the rule should be: if in doubt, err on the side of protection.

The Swiss government’s policy for processing asylum requests from Eritrean refugees is important because Eritreans make up the largest single nationality among asylum seekers in Switzerland: some 5,000 a year.

swissinfo.ch and agencies/ts

aseye.assenna@googlemail.com

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14 COMMENTS
  • Haile stupid Drue February 19, 2017

    Bad news to aba musie elsa shirom meron estifanos &to the faild oppositiom use it for polotical agenda anather bad news to faild opposition is their boos suzane rise bich is gone AAAA WAyWAY

    • Free Drue February 19, 2017

      Your wedi Medhin berad will be gone soon too, do you have another diyablos replacement?

  • Tesfay February 19, 2017

    The UN is doing good. to ward Switzerland,
    But in Switzerland still after 10 years there is no integration to ward Eritreans.
    always their news papers writing against Eritreans.
    It is psychological warfare.against Eritreans.

    • Ghezae February 19, 2017

      If you are not happy in Switzerland then go to Eritrea and read your Hadas higdef newspapers. What integration are you talking about and you not really expecting them to give you their
      wives and daughters in order for the integration? The simple fact is that they are not happy
      that as Eritrean refugees you can’t travel/visit Eritrea freely and support Higdefs.

      • Tesfay February 19, 2017

        well bribed person.

        • Ghezae February 19, 2017

          Tesfay
          Are you bribed by Higdefs to tell lies and to make its supporters look as ‘angel’ victims? Switzerland never invited you for integration!
          They have every right to criticize and even to send you back to Eritrea.
          Bribery and corruptions are only accepted in mafia higdefs lawless rule.
          Tesfish, remember: ‘Zibelukha giberelom wey adom gidefelom’!

  • AHMED SALEH !!! February 19, 2017

    Short term enjoyment of street smart idiots .
    Plane ticket WEREKET TAESA TO ERITREA in one hand and financial assistance WEREKET XAEDA
    from Europe in other hand . Somebody began to cry foul . Whose fault is that ?
    Even honeymoon has its own limitation otherwise it gets boring .

  • Z. Hagos February 20, 2017

    As human beings, it was not the choice of the Eritrean refugees to leave their warm homes. The Eritrean youth were picked from their warm homes and thrown into slavery camps forcing them to seek their freedom by fleeing their country. In a country where human atrocities are daily policies of the people in power, their victims choose to be happy and free even by giving up their valuables, properties and becoming penniless.
    ..
    It is not easy for the refugees to start over in one place after another. That is how the Eritrean refugees’ situations were/are in that they first cross the borders to Sudan or Ethiopia, work hard to step on stones to get to the next place and another and another, where they start over and then repeat again and again till they get where they see a light to land and start over for the last time. Now, after all such hardships they went through to get landed and start over for the last time, it is a crime to return them back to where, in the first place, they were abused till they hated their lives.

    • Sol February 20, 2017

      Once the late Wedi Gebeya was asked about his opinion on the conditions of human rights in Eritrea, he replied “there is something called human in Eritrea”, and he was right because in the dictionary of DIA Eritreans are lower than animals.

      • Sol February 20, 2017

        correction
        Once the late Wedi Gebeya was asked about his opinion on the conditions of human rights in Eritrea, he replied “there is NO something called human in Eritrea”, and he was right because in the dictionary of DIA Eritreans are lower than animals.

  • Yihdego February 20, 2017

    The street smart guys who sought political asylum in Swiz, and went to visit their families in HGDEF”S Eritrea, did not know the UNHCR convention, that, once you have claimed refugee status, and you have been granted, then you can not go back to your country of origin, while the same ruthless regime that you claimed has threaten your life is still in power. I do that then you have willingly nullified you claim for refugee status.
    Wedi Medhin Berad really do not care if the whole population abandoned Eritrea and claimed refugee status else where, what he will never tolerate, at all cost is, popular revolt, The henchmen around him are there not for peoples cause but for personal benefit, and they have complicated the Eritrean Solution out of the quagmire.
    The out flow of Eritreans will continue unabated, unless Wedi Medhin is cleared from power by what ever means, natural or man made. Like Mengistu Hailemariam, Isayas knows his hands are socked in innocent blood and is dangerously working to tighten his security structures. Having seen his former friend tyrant Mammar Gehddafi being lynched by angry Libyan Mobs, he has no illusion about what fate could be awaiting him if absolute control slips out of his hand. That makes armed and dangerous criminal.
    It is so sad to see tha,t people that could have work and prosper in their own home land, have to migrate in mass, in all directions, never to resettle back again!!! Eritrea already a small nation is bleeding of its youth and what will be left with will be the aging and the children.
    The question is, did the Ghedli generation fought for pride of one man, or for the Eritrean people???

    • Yihdego February 20, 2017

      please read “if you do that then” in the above comment

    • Sol February 20, 2017

      Yihdego….you asked
      The question is, did the Ghedli generation fought for pride of one man, or for the Eritrean people???

      When we see many of the so called Tegadelti still serving this mad dog dictator, it is certain that in Ghdeli there were many fighting for the glory of wedi medhin thinking that by doing so they will be beneficiary in the expense of the tremendous suffering of the people and these people has long time ago lost their human values and are exploited by the con artist to the core.
      And on the other hand there are some Tegadelti from ELF who worked had to destroy their organization from inside by pretending to be extreme leftists and they joined EPLF as Sagem people like Ebrahim Totil, Zemehret, Dr. Gergious Abrahale etc all these who were enjoying the admiration of many innocent at that time now their serving the dictator like Philipos and his likes.

  • Osman February 22, 2017

    i am an asylee in switz and my opinion on switz decision ,its not because of our feebleness in integration . the big trouble is we are not honest and sincere people . when we ask for asylum , we said the regim in eritrea is dictator and he lost legitimacy .But when they give us accommodation, we help isseyas and we stand again with him . We the people are not clear and honest, we have no dignity and don’t forget that Our generation leaves a dirty documents for the next generation.

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