The Swiss town of Bremgarten, located about 16km from Zurich, has banned asylum seekers from swimming pools, sports facilities and other sites, according to Spiegel Online International. The agreement, which has been criticized by human rights groups, was made by the Swiss Office of Migration (BfM) and the town.
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It’s not the first time that Switzerland, which has tightened its asylum laws, has restricted the free movement of asylum seekers.
Towns like Eigenthal in Lucerne banned access by asylum seekers to school yards in 2012. Other towns include Nottwil and Alpnach, which have enforced similar measures.
Swiss towns cannot prohibit asylum seekers to live in their towns but they can dictate the conditions. The agreement between BfM and Bremgarten listed 32 so-called sensitive zones, which included the public swimming pool, daycare centers, church squares, community hall, casino and retirement home.
According to BfM head Mario Gattiker, the aim of the ban is to prevent ”50 asylum seekers visiting a football pitch or a swimming pool all at once.” He believes that so many asylum seekers would lead to “friction and resentment.”
He added that the restrictions are aimed “to accommodate public concern.”
It is ironic that US talk show host Oprah Winfrey was a victim of racism during a recent visit to the country.
According to he US talk show host, who is one of the richest women in the world, a shop employee approached her and told her that one of the bags, which cost $35,000, was “too expensive” for her.
Winfrey’s claims are a public relations disaster for Switzerland, according to the BBC.