The Swiss National Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CNPT) has published a report this week detailing its findings as observers of Swiss forced deportation flights. The report raises grave concerns regarding the forced administration of tranquiliser drugs to deportees. Among the 31 deportation flights observed, the forced administration of drugs was recorded in four cases. The committee argues that drugs must not be used as an alternative method of coercion, but only on the grounds of medical necessity, according to Article 25 of the law on the use of restraint.
The committee welcomes an improvement in the use of restraint, noting that, while hand restrains are still used systematically, the use of full body restraint techniques has decreased since its last study in 2011. However, the report remarks that this progress has been uneven across Swiss cantons, with officials in some cantons continuing to use disproportionate restraint tactics in the first instance.
Finally, CNPT notes that the lives of deportees have been put at risk because of the refusal of cantons to transfer medical records to the accompanying medic on the flight.
Between July 2012 and April 2013, the CNPT accompanied 31 deportation flights.