Deportation methods of Africans criticised

The Swiss human rights pressure group "augen auf" has criticised the government for deporting African asylum seekers, who do not have identity papers, to Cameroon.

This content was published on August 24, 2000 - 08:58

The organisation said on Thursday there was increasing evidence that the Federal Refugee Office was deporting illegal African asylum seekers to the west African state, regardless of their country of origin.

Numerous letters of complaint were written to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) by the deportees held inside Zurich airport's security wing, according to "augen auf".

The Federal Office for Refugees recently decided not to use the destinations of Ghana and Ivory Coast anymore. These countries were considered to be too risky due to political unrest and uncooperative local authorities.

In January, several Swiss non-governmental organisations spoke out against using Ivory Coast, in particular, as a destination country for West African asylum seekers, without consideration for their nationality.

Cameroon is also not considered a good substitute by the pressure group, which claimed there were two cases of Congolese and Sierra Leoneans who went missing there, after being deported in August. "Since then there has been no word of their whereabouts," the organisation said.

The human rights organisation called on the Federal Refugee Office to stop its four-year-old practice of deporting African citizens to states which are not their home countries

Nobody was available for comment at the Refugee Office.

swissinfo with agencies

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