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Romanian minister wants his country's criminals in Swiss jails sent home

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Romanian minister wants his country's criminals in Swiss jails sent home

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REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel
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Romanian Justice Minister Tudorel Toader wants Romanians locked up in Swiss prisons (but who are not permanent residents in Switzerland) to be sent back to their home country to finish their sentences.

Toader believes Romanian prisons are tougher than Swiss ones: “Bring these people to us. Then they can’t tell people back home anymore that they were on holidays when they were sitting jail.”

Switzerland's police and judiciary welcomed Toader’s suggestion.

“There is already the possibility to transfer Romanian prisoners to prisons (in Romania). However, it is hardly used – so far about twice a year,” said a spokesman for the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police.

According to Swiss police crime statistics, the majority of criminals without residence in Switzerland are Romanian.

Amnesty International’s branch in Switzerland was not thrilled by the news: “the conditions of detention would not meet international standards,” said the NGO.

In April 2017, the European Court for Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled that Romanian prisons were overcrowded, describing them as “inhumane and degrading”. They gave Romania six months to come up with a plan to reduce overcrowding and improve detention conditions.

“We can’t say whether the situation in the prisons has improved since the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights," a spokesman for Amnesty Switzerland told Euronews.

Toader said he would guarantee that the prisons selected would be in accordance with the ECHR.