Published: 12 Sep 2012 15:43 GMT+02:00 | Print version
Updated: 12 Sep 2012 15:43 GMT+02:00
The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Wednesday that Switzerland violated an elderly Italian-Egyptian man's rights in its application of UN counter-terrorism resolutions.
The 17 judges ruled unanimously that Switzerland violated Youssef Moustafa Nada's "right to respect for private and family life" and the "right to an effective remedy" enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.
Nada, in his eighties, had been living since 1970 in Campione d'Italia, an Italian enclave inside the Swiss canton of Ticino that is separated from the rest of Italy by mountains and a lake.
Between 1999 and 2002, the UN Security Council adopted a series of resolutions in response to attacks by Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network, including a travel ban for individuals on the sanctions list.
Because of his suspected financial ties to al-Qaeda, links he denies, Nada's name was added to the UN list -- on the initiative of the United States -- and Switzerland launched a probe into his activities.
In 2002 on a visit to London, he was arrested and deported back to Italy, and his money confiscated. Later, Ticino revoked his special border-crossing permit and Switzerland denied his requests to enter for medical reasons.
After Italy and Switzerland dismissed their cases against him, Nada requested to be taken off the sanction list, but Switzerland said it was up to the UN to clear him.
It wasn't until years later, in 2009, that Nada's name was removed.
The judges concluded "that the Swiss authorities had not sufficiently taken into account the realities of the case, especially the geographical situation of the Campione d'Italia enclave, the duration of the measures imposed or the applicant's nationality, age and health."
They added that "the applicant did not have any effective means of obtaining the removal of his name and therefore no remedy in respect of the violations of his rights."
The Strasbourg-based court said in a statement: "As it had been possible for Switzerland to decide how the Security Council resolutions were to be implemented in its legal order, it could have been less harsh in imposing the sanctions regime on the applicant."
The court ordered Switzerland to pay Nada €30,000 ($39,000).
The value of Swiss watch exports fell by 3.9 percent in May compared to the same month a year earlier as orders to Hong Kong and China fell dramatically, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) reported on Thursday. READ () »
Hunting stray cats year round remains legal in Switzerland after Swiss lawmakers on Wednesday voted against banning the practice. READ () »
A 40-year-old man was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison, 15 years after he killed a 50-year-old gay taxi driver in his Geneva apartment by stabbing him 47 times with a knife . READ () »
Swiss lawmakers rejected on Wednesday a deal proposed by Washington to expose American tax dodgers and halt a raft a US lawsuits provided that Swiss banks that helped stash the cash pay massive fines. READ () »
Switzerland's senate on Wednesday again backed a deal with Washington to expose US tax dodgers and fine Swiss banks which helped hide their money, a day after G8 leaders agreed to chase cheats and corporate fiddles. READ () »
When I lost my job in Zurich three months ago, I felt like the world was collapsing around me. I felt inadequate and angry, and had a sense of shame about becoming unemployed in a foreign country. READ () »
At least four drowning deaths were reported in Switzerland on Tuesday amid the country’s continuing heatwave, which is drawing throngs of bathers to the country’s rivers and lakes. READ () »
The world's largest fully solar-powered boat, a Swiss vessel called "Turanor PlanetSolar," docked in New York on Tuesday during a mission to study the effects of climate change on the Gulf Stream current. READ () »
Swiss champion football team FC Basel may be in danger of losing one of its top players, striker Jacques Zoua. READ () »
Students at one of Zurich’s largest secondary schools were sent home on Tuesday after seniors trashed parts of the building in what was described in news reports as a “graduation prank”. READ () »