Switzerland: Federal Administrative Tribunal upholds return of Eritrean asylum seekers who completed their military obligations

Thursday, August 17, 2017

On 17 August 2017, the Swiss Federal Administrative Tribunal ruled on case D-2311/2016 that the return of Eritrean nationals who completed their military obligations is lawful. The Tribunal found that those who completed their military obligations or who resolved their situation with the Eritrean government by paying the necessary fee are not likely to be sentenced for a criminal offence or to be forcibly recruited to the military.

The case in question concerned an Eritrean woman who left Eritrea at the age of 29 and who had completed many years of national service. The Tribunal concluded that it was unlikely that she would be condemned for leaving the national service or that she would be obliged to serve once again upon return. The Tribunal did not rule on whether the Eritrean national service constitutes a likelihood of inhumane treatment or if it must in itself be considered slavery or forced labour. Finally, the Federal Administrative Tribunal also reached the conclusion that the situation in Eritrea is not one of generalised violence justifying a complete ban of returns to that country.

Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. We would like to thank Adriana Romer, ELENA Coordinator for Switzerland, for bringing this case to our attention.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update supported by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Funding Programme and distributed by email. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE, the IRC or its partners.



Indiscriminate violence
Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment