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Rights group calls for halt to Ethiopian repatriation flights

Human rights groups in Switzerland have regularly protested against the deportation of rejected asylum seekers to Ethiopia. © Keystone/Anthony Anex

Amnesty International has urged the Swiss government to reconsider possible repatriation flights of Ethiopian asylum seekers.

This content was published on January 25, 2021 – 18:57

The human rights group said it was concerned about reports of a planned deportation operation next Wednesday of several Ethiopians whose asylum request was rejected by Switzerland.

Amnesty said the east African country was not safe due to ongoing political tensions, including serious human rights violations in the northern Tigray region ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for June.

The Swiss justice ministry’s State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) did not comment on the reports by the Migrant Solidarity Network group.

The SEM said last week that repatriation flights to Ethiopia were possible regardless of the coronavirus pandemic.

But such operations to conflict areas were excluded, a spokesman told the Swiss news agency, Keystone-SDA.

In November, the Swiss government pledged CHF2 million ($2.3 million) for humanitarian aid in the violence-hit Tigray region. It has called on all parties to respect international humanitarian law.

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