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Brazil demands probe into alleged racist attack in Switzerland

Brasilia — Brazil formally asked Switzerland on Thursday to share its probe of an alleged racist attack on a pregnant Brazilian woman near Zurich who said she lost the twins she was carrying after the assault.

Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said the charge d’affaires of the Swiss embassy had been summoned to receive the request.

"We can’t draw any conclusions yet, but we have asked the Swiss authorities to conduct their investigation with more transparency so we can have all the information," he told reporters.

The case revolves around 26-year-old Brazilian lawyer, Paula Oliveira, living with her Swiss husband in Dubendorf, a satellite village of Zurich.

She told Swiss police on Monday that three neo-Nazi skinheads grabbed her and cut the initials SVP into her thighs and belly as she was returning home from work.

The initials correspond to the extreme-right Swiss People’s Party in German.

She said that, as a result of the violence, she suffered a miscarriage of the three-month-old fetuses of the twins she was bearing.

"The circumstances in which these wounds were made are not clear," said Zurich police in a statement.

They added that they had appealed for witnesses to come forward.

News of the alleged attack was treated as a scandal in Brazil’s press on Thursday, with the major newspapers talking of Oliveira being the victim of racist "torture" in Switzerland.

Amorim said he told the summoned Swiss diplomat, Claude Grottaz, of Brazil’s "deep concern" over "a case with obvious xenophobic motives."

He said Switzerland should carry out an exhaustive investigation "not only for the person attacked, but also for the good relations between Brazil and Switzerland."

Grottaz told Brazilian reporters that his country "condemns any sort of xenophobia and will conduct a complete inquiry into this case."