Swiss to clear 600 Spanish civil war fighters

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The Swiss government supports the rehabilitation of 600 Swiss citizens convicted for fighting against Spanish general Franco.

27 November 2008

BERN – The Swiss government has said it supports a bill to cancel the convictions of citizens punished for fighting on the Republican side in the Spanish civil war.

The government estimates that over 600 Swiss were found guilty in the 1930s of breaking a law that forbids the neutral country's citizens from taking part in a foreign war.

They were sentenced to between 15 days and four years in prison.

Wednesday's decision by the Cabinet still has to be approved by both houses of parliament.

Campaigners say only five men who joined the fight against General Francisco Franco's right-wing forces are still alive today.

Ralph Hug of the campaign group "IG Spanienfreiwillige" says the decision will largely be of comfort to the fighters' relatives.

[AP / Expatica]

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