Asylum seeker fined 900 Swiss francs for kiss on cheek
An asylum seeker who sexually harassed two young women and kissed one of them on the cheek was fined 900 Swiss Francs (€830) it has emerged.
The incident took place in January in Aarau, the capital of canton of Aargau, a spokesperson for the cantonal prosecutor said in comments cited by regional daily Aargauer Zeitung.
“At the train station in Aarau an asylum seeker and another unknown person harassed two young women and kissed one of the victims on the cheek,” the spokesperson said.
The man was fined 900 francs at the beginning of March after one of the young women made a formal complaint to police, she added. When he was unable to pay the fine, the asylum seeker was sentenced to nine days in prison.
The incident came to light after local officials requested information on the number of times police had been called in to deal with problems involving people using asylum seeker accommodation at a facility near the Aarau cantonal hospital. Police gave the number of incidents as 44.
The large upturn in the number of asylum seekers arriving in Europe has proved politically divisive in Switzerland but Swiss voters recently voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new initiative designed to speed up the country's asylum processes.
The conservative Swiss People’s Party had said that speeding up the asylum process would make the country more attractive to “fake refugees” and migrants drawn by financial aid and free legal help.
But backers of the new reform said that argument didn’t hold weight at a time when the number of asylum requests was actually falling.
The issue of asylum seekers and sexual abuse received global attention after the New Year's Eve mass sexual assaults in Cologne, Germany. Those attacks, committed in a crowd of mostly North African men, shocked Germany and heightened public concern about an influx of migrants, many of them Syrians fleeing their country's civil war.