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(Obwaldnerzeitung.ch) State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) checks status of Eritreans

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Wednesday, 04 April 2018

Bund checks status of Eritreans

April 04, 2018, 5:49 pm

This card could soon lose thousands of Eritreans in Switzerland.  The Confederation is reviewing its status of provisional admission.  (Theme image) (© KEYSTONE / CHRISTIAN BEUTLER)

This card could soon lose thousands of Eritreans in Switzerland. The Confederation is reviewing its status of provisional admission. (Theme image) | KEYSTONE / CHRISTIAN BUMPER

REFUGEES ⋅ Hundreds of Eritreans provisionally accepted in Switzerland have received mail from the Federation these days. The summarized content: Your status is being reviewed. The authorities implement a judgment of the Federal Administrative Court.


This was concluded at the end of August 2017 that Eritrean nationals who have done their duty to return to their home country do not generally have to expect re-enlistment in the national service or punishment. A return to their home country was therefore not generally unreasonable.

Due to the fact that the federal authorities must, by law, regularly review all preliminary recordings, this judgment now also has an impact on asylum practice vis-à-vis Eritreans in Switzerland.

3200 dossiers under review

Specifically, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) is currently reviewing the dossiers of 3200 of the total of 9400 provisionally admitted Eritreans. In the letters to those concerned it says: "The SEM therefore intends to suspend your provisional admission and to order the execution of the Wegweisung."

SEM spokesman Martin Reichlin confirmed on Wednesday evening on request of the news agency SDA corresponding information of the program "Rundschau" of the Swiss television (SRF). He emphasizes that the persons concerned have the right to be heard. Every case will be checked individually.

The fact is: Switzerland can not forcefully bring people back to Eritrea right now. The will of the East African country to resume refugee nationals is missing, as is a readmission agreement with Switzerland. If those affected remain in Switzerland, they are only entitled to emergency aid.

Deserters are not affected

Among other things, the SEM checks dossiers of persons who have already done their duty and only then left Eritrea. The Federal Administrative Court had ruled in a specific case that such persons do not generally have to re-call national service or be punished when returning to their home country.

From the point of view of the judges in St. Gallen, such victims are not threatened with any treatment contrary to human rights. The same applies to Eritreans, who have settled their situation with the home state and have the so-called Diaspora status.

The Federal Administrative Court did not tighten the practice for the first time. As early as February 2017, it had confirmed that Eritreans are no longer recognized as refugees simply because they left their homeland illegally.

There are more grounds for asylum

According to SEM spokesman Reichlin, the federal government is now implementing the key verdict for the summer of 2017 with its actions. "The judiciary sets the direction." Adaptations of the asylum and the Wegweisungspraxis give it again and again, in recent years, for example, for nationals of Sri Lanka or Balkan states.

Reichlin added on request of the news agency SDA that the practice change did not mean that all Eritreans had no right to a provisional admission. "Those in need of protection should receive protection in Switzerland." (SDA)

Bund checkt Status von Eritreern

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