13:18 GMT23 June 2021
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    Alfred Heer, a lawmaker from the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) said that international law prohibiting the expulsion or return of a refugee to a place where their life or freedom could be threatened will prevail over proposed national bill that provide a legal basis for the automatic deportation of any foreign resident if they commit a crime.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The non-refoulement principle of international law, prohibiting the expulsion or return of a refugee to a place where their life or freedom could be threatened, will prevail over the proposed Swiss legislation that aims to provide a legal basis for the automatic deportation of any foreign resident if they commit a crime, a lawmaker from the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) told Sputnik Thursday.

    "All foreign citizens will be affected," Alfred Heer said. "However due to international law's ‘non refoulement’ principle we cannot expulse [expel] foreigners to countries where they could suffer torture, [the] death penalty or inhumane treatment."

    On February 28, Switzerland will hold a referendum to decide whether foreign nationals who reside in Switzerland should be automatically deported if found guilty of committing a crime, ranging from murder to speeding.

    According to the 1954 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, no state may expel a refugee to territories where his/her life would be threatened because of race, religion, nationality or membership of a political or social organization.

    About a quarter of the Swiss population of 8 million are foreigners.


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