Torture by Authorities in  [Switzerland]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Switzerland]  [other countries]

Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                                  

Swiss Confederation (Switzerland)

Switzerland is a peaceful, prosperous, and stable modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force, and a per capita GDP among the highest in the world. Switzerland's economy benefits from a highly developed service sector led by financial services and a manufacturing industry that specializes in high-technology, knowledge-based production.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Switzerland

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Switzerland.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Torture by Authorities are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the moral justification for inflicting pain or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment in order to obtain critical information that may save countless lives, or to elicit a confession for a criminal act, or to punish someone to teach him a lesson outside of the courtroom.  Perhaps your paper might focus on some of the methods of torture, like fear, extreme temperatures, starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, suffocation, or immersion in freezing water.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the people acting in an official capacity who perpetrate such cruelty.  There is a lot to the subject of Torture by Authorities.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.

*** ARCHIVES ***

Freedom House Country Report

2018 Edition

[accessed 13 May 2020]

IS THERE AN INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY? - While the judiciary is largely independent, judges are affiliated with political parties and are selected based on a system of proportional party, linguistic, and regional representation in the Federal Assembly. In late 2017, a group of civil society leaders introduced an initiative to remove the party affiliation requirement from the judicial nomination process in an effort to strengthen the independence of the judiciary.

DOES DUE PROCESS PREVAIL IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL MATTERS? - Due process normally prevails in civil and criminal matters.

IS THERE PROTECTION FROM THE ILLEGITIMATE USE OF PHYSICAL FORCE AND FREEDOM FROM WAR AND INSURGENCIES? - Switzerland is generally free from war and the use of illegitimate force by authorities is relatively rare. The occasional use of excessive force by police has been documented. The Universal Periodic Review of Switzerland’s human rights record, which was presented by the Swiss government to the United Nations in June 2017, documented some incidents of alleged excessive use of force against undocumented immigrants during the deportation process. Conditions in prisons and detention centers generally meet international standards, and the Swiss government permits visits by independent observers.

2017 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 20 April 2018

[accessed 12 March 2020]


The constitution prohibits such practices. There were isolated reports that individual police officers used excessive force and engaged in degrading treatment while making arrests.

In March the district court of Buelach in the canton of Zurich sentenced two police officers to suspended fines for abuse of authority after they used excessive force against a motorist during a road patrol check. The officers reportedly handcuffed the driver and forced him to the ground, injuring his head, spine, ribcage, and larynx, after the driver insisted on retrieving his license from the officers. The driver allegedly repeatedly called the officers’ attention to a pre-existing spinal injury during the altercation. Authorities referred the case for further review to the High Court of Zurich, where it remained pending as of November.

In 2016 the National Commission for the Prevention of Torture (NCPT), an independent governmental organization, noted frequent instances of authorities partially or fully shackling individuals during deportation. Authorities also occasionally chained unruly and uncooperative individuals to wheelchairs during the deportation process.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  -- Doc. CAT/C/CR/34/CHE (2005)

[accessed 8 March 2013]

4. The Committee expresses concern regarding the following:

(f) In spite of the increase in number of complaints filed against the police, often by persons of foreign origin, for ill-treatment, only a minority of these complaints result in prosecutions or indictments, and even fewer cases result in compensation for the victims or their families;

(g) All but one canton have failed to establish machinery to receive complaints against members of the police regarding allegations of torture or ill-treatment during arrest, questioning and police custody, in spite of a previous recommendation of the Committee in this regard;


From an old article -- URL not available

Article was published sometime prior to 2015

POLICE AND SECURITY FORCES - Allegations of ill-treatment by the police in the Canton of Geneva continued, including against minors, during or immediately after arrest. In October, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture recommended introducing improved training and reinforcing existing safeguards to combat ill-treatment by police.


Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 12 February 2013]

[accessed 7 July 2019]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The law prohibits such practices; however, there were reports of occasional use of excessive force by police authorities.

In October the cantonal government in Tessin suspended two policemen accused of robbing and verbally abusing several asylum-seekers. The cantonal prosecutor charged the two police officers of misusing their functions, theft, and breaching the antiracism law. A 2004 Amnesty International (AI) report highlighted several instances of police mistreatment of detainees, particularly foreigners, citizens of foreign origin, and asylum seekers.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES. 

Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Switzerland",, [accessed <date>]



Torture by Authorities in  [Switzerland]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Switzerland]  [other countries]