European Court of Human Rights rules Switzerland’s ID check on black man ‘discriminatory’


(MENAFN) According to a Swiss public broadcaster, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg delivered a ruling on Tuesday against Switzerland, deeming an ID check on a Black man discriminatory and a form of racial profiling. The case originates from a 2015 identity check in Zurich involving a man with Kenyan heritage who declined to show his ID to the police and subsequently incurred a fine.

Although the individual contested the fine, three courts sided with the police officer's assessment that the man appeared to be avoiding the check. However, the European court, as reported by the broadcaster, upheld the complaint and identified a breach of the prohibition on discrimination outlined in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

The judges unanimously concluded that the ID check was discriminatory and stressed that Swiss courts should have acknowledged this aspect when assessing the fine. The court acknowledged the challenging circumstances faced by the police officer, who had to make a swift decision without clear legal guidelines.

Furthermore, the court highlighted the absence of legal provisions addressing racial profiling in Switzerland, expressing concern that this void could facilitate discriminatory ID checks. Designating the case as an "impact case," the court emphasized its significance for advancing human rights protection.

The ruling is regarded as an opportunity by the court to address fundamental questions applicable to all member states regarding human rights and discrimination issues.

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