For the first time the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) is considering taking the Swiss passport from a dual national who went to do jihad in Syria. The SEM opened an inquiry, which can be found in the recent federal task force report on terrorism.
“When an individual has their Swiss nationality removed they can be hit with a ban on entering Swiss territory”, explained SEM spokesperson Céline Kohlprath. “This person would no longer be able to reenter Switzerland and threaten internal security”, she added. A big disincentive for all those considering leaving to do jihad.
The spokesperson refused to give more detail on the jihadist affected by the measure. All she said was that serious offenses would need to be committed for nationality to be removed.
At the end of 2014, UDC (SVP) president Toni Brunner launched a parliamentary initiative demanding that all Swiss jihadists have their Swiss nationality taken away. At least those with dual nationality who commit terrorist offenses in Switzerland or abroad. Speaking to 20 Minutes he said “the removal of Swiss nationality should be automatic and not merely possible”.
Since 1953, Swiss law has permitted the removal of Swiss nationality from dual nationals from the moment their behaviour seriously harms the country’s interests or reputation, provided those concerned are not left without nationality. The relevant text is set out in Article 48 of this law.