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Swiss Government asks some 300 failed Tibetan asylum seekers to self-deport

The Swiss Parliament building in Bern, Switzerland. (Photo courtesy: Reuters)
The Swiss Parliament building in Bern, Switzerland. (Photo courtesy: Reuters)

(TibetanReview.net, Sep01, 2017) – The Swiss government is reported to have asked nearly 300 Tibetans whom it had found ineligible for political asylum to leave the country on their own, reported the Tibetan Service of Radio Free Asia (Washington) Aug 27. It has promised to pay their travel expenses and to provide a further assistance of 5,000 Swiss Franc to each such Tibetan.

The Swiss government’s offer, or directive, was reported to have been explained at a meeting in the Swiss Tibetan Community hall in Zurich on Aug 27 with the participation of the Secretary of the country’s Immigration office, representatives of the Tibetan community, including from the Office of Tibet (Tibet Bureau) in Geneva, and local Tibetans.

Like other European countries – but unlike the US and Canada – Switzerland gives political asylum only to Tibetans who have come directly from Tibet, rather than from a third country like India or Nepal, whatever their situation of statelessness in those latter countries may be.

Most of the Tibetans arriving in Switzerland lack any documentary proof, including even a personal ID as required under the country’s asylum rules, to back their application while their numbers have been increasing every year, the immigration officer was cited, in part, as saying.

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