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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Switzerland - February 2024

European court upholds complaint of racial profiling by the police

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has upheld the complaint by a Swiss citizen of racial profiling by police after he was stopped and searched in 2015 at Zurich train station, and fined CHF 100 for refusing to comply with the police. It is the first time the ECHR ruled in an ethnic profiling case that an identity check violated the right to private life (Article 8) and the right to non-discrimination (Article 14) protected in the European Convention on Human Rights. The ruling further found that the complainant’s right to an effective remedy (Article 13) was violated with regard to the complaint of discrimination based on race. In 2020, a domestic court found that the identity check had been unlawful but left open the question of whether discriminatory motives had factored into the identity check and did not provide recourse for appeal. Switzerland was ordered to pay CHF 22,821 to the complainant.

Sources: ECHR, Amnesty International (1), Amnesty International (2), Swiss Info,

Primary categories and factors
Rights +1 Rights  (+1)
Political Equality
Social Group Equality

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