In March 2013 a Swiss NGO providing legal assistance to asylum-seekers in Switzerland (ELISA-Asile, www.elisa.ch) launched an online petition calling the Swiss asylum authorities to review their country guidance on Sri Lanka and their return policy for Tamils who had been close or active member of the LTTE movement. More recently, ELISA also joined Amnesty International, the Swiss Refugee Council, the Society for the threatened People and many other organizations in order to launch a new online petition asking that:
1. the Swiss authorities push for an international investigation on the allegations of war crimes committed during the civil war in Sri Lanka
2. the Swiss authorities halt the deportations of rejected asylum-seekers to this country in view of the latest information on the human rights abuses committed on many people forcibly deported to their country of origin.
3. The Swiss authorities avoid signing a readmission agreement with the Government of Sri Lanka,
4. The Swiss authorities provide a temporary admission status for people who cannot be sent back to Sri Lanka.
Indeed the Swiss authorities are aware of the reports of Freedom from Torture, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch on the on-going torture of suspected LTTE members in Sri Lanka. They are well aware of the reviewed UNHCR Eligibility Guidelines on Sri Lanka (December 2012) which stresses the general deterioration of the human rights situation in Sri Lanka since 2010 and the risks of detention, ill treatment and torture for people suspected to be former LTTE combatants . Still deportations have continued unabated. It is a shame.
Forum Asile recommends the signature of this petition available on http://extranet.amnesty.ch/fr/actuel/priorites/sri-lanka/docs/campagne-sri-lanka-exiger-verite-et-justice
The online petition will be available on 3 september 2013.
For more information please contact: Patrick Walder, Campaign Coordinator, Amnesty International, T +41 31 307 22 59, F +41 31 307 22 33, www.amnesty.ch