Switzerland Detained, Tortured Me For Two Months | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Switzerland Detained, Tortured Me For Two Months

Posted: Aug 3, 2016 at 4:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chukwudi Nweje


One, Prince Ugochukwu Igwe, 35, has accused Switzerland of torturing and violating him. Igwe, a Nigerian who had lived and worked in Spain since 2003, said Swiss authorities detained, tortured him for two months and subsequently deported to Nigeria because he visited the country from Spain.

He is trapped in Nigeria without means of supporting his family because Switzerland forcefully deported him to Nigeria rather than let him return to Spain from where he visited.

According to Igwe, his problems began on September 9, 2015 when he travelled to Switzerland from Spain to see a friend. He said he planned to spend three days in Switzerland before travelling back to Spain, but ended up locked up for two months and two weeks in a Swiss detention camp before he was bundled back to Nigeria.

He said that during that period, his family was in trauma, as they had no idea whether he was alive or dead.

“On 9th September 2015, I travelled from Madrid to Geneva with Swiss Air to return to Spain in three days and resume work.

“On arrival at the Geneva Airport, I was denied entry into Switzerland. I told them that by European Union law, I have permission to visit for three months if I wished to, but that I only wanted to stay three days because of my work in Spain.

“They insisted that I have to go back to Spain and I accepted. Little did I know they were lying. I was arbitrarily detained for no reason or any criminal charge for two months and two weeks in a small confinement that had no windows,” Igwe told Independent.

Igwe also said that throughout the 71 days he was detained that the Swiss authorities refused to give him access to the Nigerian consulate in Geneva or a lawyer.

He further alleged that he was given contaminated water, “which affected my health, as a result I had boils all over my body. When I asked them to take me to hospital, they refused and instead placed me on paracetamol for one month two weeks without any antibiotics,” lgwe added.

Igwe’s problem however is that his residence permit expired on September 26, 2015 while incarcerated in Switzerland.

He accused the Swiss of deliberate incarceration to make sure his residence permit in Spain expired.

“While in detention my residence permit expired of which was a deliberate act for my residence permit to expire. They took my residence card, my hospital card as well as my relevant documents away and brought me back home as an illegal immigrant.

“On 19 November 2015, around 1:00 am, while I was sleeping, four men pounced on me and pulled me to the floor, with my hands tied behind my back. That was all I could remember.

“I regained consciousness inside the aircraft en route Nigeria, with chains on my knees, ankle and my two hands chained behind my back. When we were about to land, they unchained me so that Nigerian authorities will not see my chains.

“Since they forcefully brought me back to Nigeria it has not been easy for me as a family man with a wife and two kids,” he said.

Igwe said he had been to the Spanish consulate in Lagos where after verification of his Residence card, the Consulate told him that since Spain was not the one that forcefully deported him to Nigeria that there was nothing they could do in the situation.

Photocopy of Igwe’s residence Card obtained by Independent showed that the card number X4830181C was issued on November 23, 2010.

A printout of the Boarding pass showed that he flew SWISS Air Flight LX 2019 with E -Ticket number 7242137140913-1 and sat on Seat 35C in Economy (K).

Efforts to speak to the Swiss consulate were futile. When Independent spoke to the Consular General on phone, on Monday, he requested that an Email be sent to him. However,  as at the time of filing this report on Tuesday, he did not respond to the questions sent to him regarding the treatment of Igwe.