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Switzerland to ratify UN convention on genocide

Parliament has approved a proposal for Switzerland to ratify the United Nations convention on genocide. Switzerland will be the 130th country to ratify the accord.

This content was published on March 9, 2000 - 22:51

Parliament has approved a proposal for Switzerland to ratify the United Nations convention on genocide. Switzerland will be the 130th country to ratify the accord.

The Senate unanimously approved the accord which was also passed by the House of Representatives during its December session.

The convention, which dates back to 1948, outlaws genocide and obliges countries to prevent such crime and prosecute those responsible.

Switzerland will have to amend penal law to outlaw genocide, and provide for jail sentences of between 10 years and life imprisonment. Prosecution will be carried out at federal rather than cantonal level.

Courts will be able to try people accused of genocide in foreign countries but who are currently in Switzerland and cannot be extradited to the country where they committed the crime.

Switzerland had previously had objections to certain clauses in the treaty, but it has already held a genocide trial.

A military tribunal sentenced a former Rwandan official to life imprisonment last year for the crimes he committed during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The trial of Fugence Niyonteze took place in Switzerland because he sought asylum in Switzerland after committing his crimes.

From staff and wire reports

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