Swiss border guard guilty over migrant’s stillbirth

Swiss border guard guilty over migrant’s stillbirth

Swiss guard at Italy border, Apr 2017 file picImage copyright
EPA

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Prosecutors accused the senior border guard of lacking “all humanity”

A Swiss border guard has been convicted after he refused to give medical help to a pregnant Syrian migrant who went on to have a stillbirth.

The heavily pregnant woman suffered stomach pains and bleeding while being deported to Italy by bus in 2014.

But the guard refused to seek medical help and the woman was left near the Swiss border with Italy.

He was convicted of charges including negligence and given a six-month sentence and fine, both suspended.

During the trial, prosecutors accused the guard and his subordinates of lacking “all humanity” in their treatment of the woman, who was seven months pregnant, reported news site Swissinfo.ch. They had asked for a prison term of up to seven years for manslaughter.

In addition to being found guilty of causing bodily harm through negligence, the man was convicted of attempting to interrupt a pregnancy and repeated failure to carry out his duty by the military court in Bern.

The woman, then 22 years old, her husband and their two-year-old son had travelled from Italy through Switzerland on a Paris-bound train but were taken off the train in Pontarlier, in France, and sent back.

In Vallorbe, Switzerland, on 4 July they were then put on a bus for the long journey back to Italy, escorted by the border guards.

On the journey the woman’s waters broke and she began bleeding.

But the senior guard ignored her plight and continued the journey to the border. According to one report, he did not want to be late home.

Despite their increasingly panicked protestations, the woman and her family were left at Brig station to await a train to take them across the border to the Italian town of Domodossola, where the woman collapsed on the platform.

Her baby was eventually delivered stillborn in an Italian hospital. The doctor who treated her was quoted as telling Swiss broadcaster SRF that “if this woman had received assistance in Switzerland, this tragedy could have been avoided”.

Swiss border guard guilty over migrant’s stillbirth

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