Asylum In SwitzerlandFor centuries, people who have been persecuted for political reasons have sought asylum in Switzerland. The reason for this lies not only in Switzerland’s geographical position but in their unique state of political neutrality.
The case of David Chase Taylor is no different.
Switzerland's asylum policy states that "Any person who is threatened or persecuted in their home country in accordance with criteria recognised under international law will be granted asylum in Switzerland" (Swiss Gov, 2012).
Fearing retaliation for the journalistic revelations contained within The Nuclear Bible, David Chase Taylor applied for political asylum in Switzerland on March 8, 2011, in accordance with Swiss law when he sent a registered letter to the Migration Office of the Canton of Zürich.
According to the Swiss government, an application for asylum can be "submitted verbally or in writing to a Swiss representation abroad, to a border post, to the border control at a Swiss airport or to a reception and application centres".
Included in Taylor's letters regarding political asylum is evidence and documentation clearly stating why he faces the threat of torture, assassination, illegal rendition (kidnapping), and detainment in a secret prison by U.S. and NATO nations should he ever leave Switzerland.
Despite Taylor’s numerous attempts to communicate with and meet with the Migration Office of the Canton of Zürich via letters, emails and calls, Taylor has been denied due process in his case for political asylum, a clear violation of the Migration Office's legal responsibility under Swiss law.
As a holder of an Ausländerausweis "B" Swiss residence permit, Taylor is entitled to the same rights and protections under the Swiss Constitution as a Swiss citizen.
Current Violations of Taylor's Rights under the Swiss Constitution
According to the Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation, David Chase Taylor's basic civil and constitutional rights have been repeatedly violated in regards to his case for political asylum in Switzerland.
Swiss Asylum Law
1. Taylor's right to equal treatment before the law has been denied (Art. 8, Sec. 1)
2. Taylor's right to not be discriminated against based on political convictions has been denied (Art. 8, Sec. 2)
3. Taylor's right to equal and fair treatment in judicial and administrative proceedings has been denied (Art. 29, Sec. 1)
4. Taylor's right to have his case for asylum decided within a reasonable time has been denied (Art. 29, Sec. 1)
5. Taylor's right to have his case for asylum be heard has been denied (Art. 29, Sec. 2)
6. Taylor's right to have free legal advice, assistance, and representation has been denied (Art. 29, Sec. 3)
7. Taylor's right to petition the authorities without prejudice has been denied (Art. 33, Sec. 1)
8. Taylor's right to receive receipt of petitions to authorities has been denied (Art. 33, Sec. 2)
9. Taylor's fundamental rights have not been upheld throughout the legal system (Art. 35, Sec. 1)
10. Employees acting on behalf of the state have denied Taylor his fundamental rights and have forsaken their duty to contribute to their implementation (Art. 35, Sec. 2)
The Swiss government's policy regarding asylum states that "Any person who is threatened or persecuted in their home country in accordance with criteria recognised under international law will be granted asylum in Switzerland" (Swiss Gov, 2012).
Political Asylum in Switzerland
Any person who is threatened or persecuted in their home country in accordance with criteria recognised under international law will be granted asylum in Switzerland (Swiss Gov, 2012).
Swiss asylum policy incorporates the basic principles of the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. The asylum procedure serves to determine whether a person is entitled to protection. The revised Asylum Act entered into force in part on 1 January 2007, and the remaining provisions will take full legal effect on 1 January 2008. The Federal Office for Migration (FOM) is in charge of implementing and enforcing asylum policy and the asylum law (Swiss Gov, 2012).
An asylum application can be submitted verbally or in writing to a Swiss representation abroad, to a border post, to the border control at a Swiss airport or to a reception and application centres. Although asylum applications are not bound to any formal provisions, they should include supporting evidence whenever possible. If an application is made at the border, the border guards notify the Federal Office for Migration (FOM) (Swiss Gov, 2012).
Asylum proceedings begin with filing an asylum application. Applicants have the right to stay in Switzerland throughout the proceedings and are granted an N permit for this purpose (Swiss Gov, 2012).
After careful consideration, the Federal Office for Migration (FOM) rules on the application and on whether the asylum seeker is granted residence or has to return to their home country (Swiss Gov, 2012).
The public social assistance authorities provide support to destitute persons with refugee status, asylum seekers, provisionally admitted persons and those in need of protection.
The cantons are responsible for providing social assistance: in some cantons this task is delegated to the communal authorities, in other cantons relief organisations undertake this task. The costs are reimbursed by the Federal Government. The assessment of social assistance, i.e. the amount of money available for the payment of benefits, is made according to cantonal law. Persons with refugee status have to be treated equally to the native population, receiving the standard rates of assistance that apply to their place of residence.
Every canton has an asylum coordination office which on the one hand ensures the coordination of social assistance within the respective canton and on the other functions as a contact agency for the Federal Office for Migration (Swiss Gov, 2012).
Further to a positive decision, the cantonal immigration authorities grant acknowledged refugees a residence permit for third-country nationals (B permit). After five years, this permit is usually replaced by a settlement permit (C permit) (Swiss Gov, 2012).
1. A decision to deny asylum (material decision) considers the reasons for the flight, the applicant’s credibility and the relevance of granting asylum.
2. Inadmissibility of the application (formal decision) is decided based on a review of qualification for refugee status.
3. If preventive deportation (formal decision) is pronounced, the applicant is deported to another country before the procedure is concluded (Swiss Gov, 2012).
Asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected, but who cannot return to their country, can obtain temporary admission to Switzerland. Temporary admission is granted if expulsion is:
1. Unreasonable (e.g. due to war or risk of serious personal emergency situation)
2. Inadmissible (violation of the European Convention on Human Rights)
3. Impossible (the journey back is not possible for technical reasons) (Swiss Gov, 2012).