The Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes Swiss report

The Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) has published today the report on its fourth visit to Switzerland in October 2003, together with the response of the Swiss Federal Council. These documents have been made public at the request of the Federal Council.
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The main purpose of this fourth visit was to assess the implementation in practice of the measures adopted by the Swiss authorities after the CPT's visit in 2001, in particular as regards the procedures and means of restraint applied in the context of forcible removals by air. The delegation also reviewed the treatment of foreign nationals refused entry into Switzerland (whether asylum seekers or not), whilst held in the transit zone at Zürich International Airport, and of foreign nationals detained at Kloten Airport Prison No. 2, pending their removal from the country.

As regards the removal by air of foreign nationals, the CPT noted the considerable work carried out by the Swiss authorities, at all levels, to implement both the letter and the spirit of the recommendations made by the Committee. That said, the CPT formulated some specific recommendations and comments, in particular as regards the systematic offer of a medical examination to every foreign national who had been the subject of a failed removal attempt, as well as the integration into the general police training programme of information concerning the risk of positional asphyxia during the physical restraint of recalcitrant persons.

In its response, the Federal Council indicated numerous measures taken to implement the CPT’s recommendations concerning forcible removal operations, as well as the situation at Kloten Airport Prison No. 2 and the transit zone at Zürich International Airport. The Federal Council also referred to the new draft Law on the Use of Means of Restraint, which is currently subject to an external consultation process.

The CPT's visit report and  the Federal Council's response are available on the Committee's website: