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Swiss Govt. presents draft law regulating private military & security industry, critics argue law is toothless

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Author: Ray Smith, Inter Press Service (IPS)

La ministra de Justicia [suiza]...anunció...una «prohibición a las compañías mercenarias». Dijo que Suiza ya no serviría como base para actividades que violaran los derechos humanos. Pero lo que se anunció como una «prohibición» resultó ser una regulación inútil. El proyecto de ley prevé la notificación y prohibición de ciertas actividades, pero no de las compañías de seguridad privadas en sí mismas. Prohibe que firmas o grupos empresariales con sede en Suiza «participen directamente en hostilidades dentro de un conflicto armado en el exterior»...«[E]sto significa que la nueva ley permite a las...compañías de seguridad...participar indirectamente en las hostilidades», dice Josef Lang...El...proyecto de ley...prohíbe a esas empresas «realizar cualquier actividad que aliente a cometer violaciones serias de los derechos humanos»...Lang pregunta: «¿Acaso eso significa que está permitido alentar violaciones leves a los derechos humanos?». [se refiere a Aegis Group, Aegis Defence Services]

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18 February 2013

Switzerland Checks Mercenaries, Partially

Author: Ray Smith, Inter Press Service (IPS)

Swiss Justice Minster...announced a national “ban on mercenary companies”...She said Switzerland would no longer serve as a base for activities that violate human rights. But what was announced as a ‘ban’ turned out to be an ineffectual regulation. The draft law provides for notification and a ban on certain activities – but not of PMCs themselves. It forbids firms or holding companies based in Switzerland to “directly take part in hostilities within an armed conflict abroad.” “[T]his means that the new law allows so-called security companies to act within armed conflicts abroad and to indirectly take part in hostilities,” says Josef Lang...The new draft law also bans PMCs from “conducting any activities which encourage the commission of serious violations of human rights.” Josef Lang says: “Does that mean that encouraging light human rights violations is permitted?” [refers to Aegis Group, Aegis Defence Services]

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