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Switzerland revokes right of Muslim ‘hate preacher’ to asylum

IANS | Geneva |

Swiss authorities said on Friday that a Libyan Muslim preacher accused of spreading hate speech at a mosque in the city of Biel has officially had his right to asylum revoked.

The Federal Administrative Court in St. Gallen said the decision is final and preacher Abu Ramadan, who stirred controversy with his speeches, cannot appeal the decision, Swiss media reported.

The ruling of the court confirmed an earlier decision by the State Secretariat for Migration on Ramadan’s asylum status, Xinhua reported.

In a strange twist, however, the 64-year-old Libyan national, could be allowed to keep his residence permit and stay in Switzerland, if the cantonal authorities in Bern allow him to do so, the Swiss national broadcaster reported.

Ramadan currently lives in Nidau, canton Bern and is the holder of a Libyan passport.

He obtained asylum in Switzerland in 1998 and was able to regularly draw social security benefits for the past 13 years.

Since 2013 he has made around a dozen visits to Libya, and his last earlier this year lasted more than a month.

The Swiss court argued that Ramadan had made the journeys to his homeland in the knowledge that a recognized refugee must not return to his or her country of origin, as this is a violation of refugee status.

Ramadan who preached at the Ar’Rahman mosque in Biel, at the foothills of the Jura mountains, was allegedly have called for the destruction of Jews, Christians, Russians and Shia Muslims.

He denied, however, that he was an imam at the mosque, and refuted that he had engaged in hate speech, arguing that his words had been inaccurately translated from Arabic.