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Switzerland: Face covering ban 'dangerous and violates freedom of expression'

Country narrowly voted in favour of banning face coverings in public, including the burka or niqab worn by Muslim women Responding to the news that a Swiss referendum has voted in favour of banning the wearing of face coverings in public, Cyrielle Huguenot, Head of Women's Rights at Amnesty International Switzerland, said: “After the vote to ban minarets, Swiss voters have once again approved an initiative that discriminates against one religious community in particular, needlessly fueling division and fear. The ban on the full face veil cannot be viewed as a measure that liberates women. On

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Switzerland: 12-year-olds face control orders under draconian counter-terror laws

Draconian proposed new laws which would give police in Switzerland sweeping powers to target “potential terrorist offenders”, including children as young as 12, must be rejected, Amnesty International said today. The proposed anti-terrorism legislation would create extensive control orders that would limit a person’s right to liberty based on a vague suspicion that they might - in the future - pose a threat to national security. It would also give police exhaustive new powers - including the power to impose house arrest, travel bans, and electronic surveillance - with few effective safeguards

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Dozens of countries call on UN to refer Syria to International Criminal Court

The UN Security Council must immediately refer the situation in Syria to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in line with a request made this morning in a new letter by dozens of UN member states, Amnesty International said this evening In a joint letter to the Security Council, Switzerland and 56 other states from all continents made the plea, noting the Syrian authorities’ failure to investigate and prosecute crimes against humanity and war crimes committed since March 2011. Since then, according to the letter, “the situation on the ground has only become more desperate

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Jun 6 2012 6:47PM
Employers attack workers' rights at ILO

Trade unions expressed outrage at the actions of the employers’ group at the International Labour Organisation Conference for blocking any debate and discussion on some of the worst cases of worker rights violations at the meeting in...

Swiss deportation referendum success puts human rights at risk

Amnesty International is urging the Swiss authorities at all levels not to enforce the deportation of foreigners convicted of certain criminal offences if this will result in human rights violations, after voters backed the move in a referendum on Sunday. If the results of the referendum known as the ’Deportation Initiative’ are implemented, the Swiss constitution would be amended to permit the “automatic” and immediate deportation of non-citizens convicted for certain criminal offences to their countries of origin. According to media sources 52.9% per cent of the votes were in favour of the

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Nov 30 2009 12:58PM
Minarets at the sharp end of Swiss attack

The shocking outcome of Switzerland’s referendum to ban the building of minarets has dominated much of UK media today. As the Guardian points out, this result makes Switzerland the first country in Europe to attempt to curb the...

Nov 26 2009 9:47AM
Islamophobia put to the vote in Switzerland

Planning permission, eh? The bane of developers, the saviour of green belt, the last resort of NIMBYs. But in Switzerland some people want to take things a step further. The country will vote this weekend on whether to change the Swiss...

Switzerland: Minaret ban would breach religious freedom, warns Amnesty

A ban on the construction of minarets would breach Switzerland’s obligations to uphold freedom of religion, Amnesty International said ahead of a referendum on Sunday 29 November on a constitutional amendment on the issue. The proposal, which was initiated by members of two Swiss parties, will ask Swiss voters if they wish to add the sentence “The construction of minarets is forbidden” to Article 72 of the Constitution. The initiators of the referendum claim that the construction of minarets is not protected by the freedom of religion as they have “no religious significance”. They assert that

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Jan 30 2009 2:23PM
Amnesty International at Davos

Northern Ireland-educated Secretary General of Amnesty International, Irene Khan, is in Davos for the World Economic Forum. Of course, as this blog has recorded, its not the first time that Amnesty or Irene has been to the gathering of...

Mar 9 2008 7:58PM
Europe versus the super-rich

An article by Sean O'Grady in the Independent, Europe versus the super-rich, looks at the EU's efforts to bring tax havens under control. Tax havens and centres of secretive banking such as Monaco and Switzerland are ideal for...

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