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Migration boss defends Aargau public pool ban

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Migration boss defends Aargau public pool ban
Asylum seekers won't have freedom to roam the town. Photo: www.bremgarten.ch
16:14 CEST+02:00
Switzerland's top migration official has defended rules preventing residents of the new federal asylum centre in Bremgarten from moving freely around the town.

The head of the Federal Office for Migration, Mario Gattiker, told the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper it was “totally normal” for the town authorities to limit asylum seekers’ freedom of movement.

Bremgarten in the canton of Aargau is hosting the first temporary federal asylum centre to open since June when voters approved changes to the law designed to speed up the asylum process.

The town authorities have stipulated that the new residents must stay away from public sport venues and schools.

Gattiker said the rights of asylum seekers would continue to be fully guaranteed and no sanctions were envisaged for anyone breaking the rules.

“Asylum seekers won’t face a general ban on entering school grounds or sport venues,” Gattiker explained.

“But they have to discuss the visit with the asylum centre management so that they can inform the local authorities.”

“We want to prevent a situation where 50 asylum seekers all want to use a football pitch or go to the open-air pool at once,” Gattiker told the paper.

“This could lead to friction and resentment.”

He said the restrictions would be in place Monday to Friday between 7am and 6pm.

The new centre is designed to house up to 150 asylum seekers over a three-year period. The first 23 people moved in on Monday.

The first group was made up of men, women and two children from Eritrea, Tibet, Sri Lanka and Sudan, the newspaper reported.

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