First case of citizenship revocation in Switzerland

On September 11, the Swiss government has revoked the nationality of a man previously convicted for terrorist activities and linkages to the organisation Al-Nusra in the canton of Ticino and in the north of Italy. The denationalised Swiss citizen was also a Turkish dual national. He can appeal against the government’s decision before the Federal Tribunal.

According to Article 42 of the Federal Act on Swiss Citizenship, “the State Secretariat for Migration may, with consent of the authority in the canton of origin, revoke the Swiss, cantonal and communal citizenship of a person holding dual nationality if his or her conduct is seriously detrimental to the interests or the reputation of Switzerland”.

This is the first case of such citizenship revocation by the Swiss authorities since 1953, the year when this law entered into force. According to the director of the State Secretariat for Migration, the government is currently looking into ‘several other cases of possible revocation of civil rights of dual nationals. The number of potential cases linked to the Syrian conflict is double digits’.

Back in March, the Swiss People’s Party presented a bill to allow for the revocation of nationality even in cases where the person would be left stateless. The law has not been discussed in Parliament yet.