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Swiss border guards convicted over Syrian woman’s stillbirth

Published on May 09, 2021

Switzerland has convicted three more border guards over the miscarriage of a Syrian woman who was sent back to Italy in the summer of 2014. Judges ruled they should have shown moral courage and called an ambulance against the wishes of their superior.

German-language weekly SonntagsZeitung reported on the convictions.

The head of the three border guards had already been sanctioned in 2018. On appeal, his suspended prison sentence was reduced to 150 days imprisonment with a fine of CHF150 ($166) for negligent bodily harm as well as for failure to comply with service regulations.

The Syrian woman had been intercepted at the Franco-Swiss border, while trying to reach France from Italy with about 30 other asylum seekers. The group was first transferred to Vallorbe in canton Vaud and then to the southern Swiss town of Brig. They waited two and a half hours before being taken by train to the Italian border town of Domodossola.

During this transfer, the pregnant woman complained of pain and bleeding, problems that rapidly worsened. The Syrian woman gave birth to a stillborn child in hospital on arrival to Italy.

Keystone-SDA/ds