A Swiss delegation rules out returning asylum seekers to Eritrea as inhumane

A Swiss delegation rules out returning asylum seekers to Eritrea as inhumane

Radio Erena: 11 February 2015


The Swiss government delegation on a mission for talks with the Eritrean government on emigration says it would be unjustifiable to return Eritrean asylum seekers to their home considering the situation in the country.

The delegation mostly from the department of immigration and justice decided to visit Asmara in response to pressures from Swiss politicians regarding the return of asylum seekers who have been rejected by the country.


The Swiss delegation reiterated its government’s stance on returning Eritrean asylum seekers following the talks it held with Eritrean authorities and its investigations it conducted regarding the cause of Eritrean emigration prior to its visit to the country.

There are 20, 000 Eritreans in Switzerland currently and those immigrants whose asylum application is proved to be political are granted permanent asylum and the others are permitted to live in the country until their case goes through further investigation.

According to Swiss news media outlets, there were 7,000 Eritrean immigrants who filed for political asylum last year alone and worried by the growing number of immigrants, Swiss politicians have been pressuring their government to take sustainable measures to stop the flow of immigrants to the country.

The politicians suggest that the government return those immigrants who are denied political asylum back to their country of origin. However, the news outlets added, the delegation that visited Eritrea denounces the argument as inhumane.

Speaker of the Swiss department of immigration pointed out that the delegation had also held discussions that centered around changes the Eritrean government could implement to stop emigration.

The Swiss Ambassador to Eritrea was reported to have attended the meeting between the Swiss delegation and the Eritrean authorities.

A Danish delegation had previously made a similar visit to Eritrea for talks with the Eritrean authorities on related topics.