Swiss ignored up to 10,000 Iraqi asylum requests

AP News
Posted: Aug 31, 2011 11:54 AM

Switzerland has ordered an independent investigation to uncover why Swiss officials ignored up to 10,000 asylum requests submitted by Iraqi refugees.

Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga says the asylum applications were lodged with Switzerland's embassies in Syria and Egypt between 2006 and 2008.

Sommaruga told reporters in Bern on Wednesday that an internal probe found the Federal Office of Migration had ordered the embassies not to process the requests.

She says an external investigation has now been ordered to answer outstanding questions in the affair.

Sommaruga says the Iraqis were in U.N. refugee camps and none had come to harm.

She says about half of the asylum applications have now been processed.