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Man sets himself on fire to protest Swiss asylum conditions

Photo of  Switzerland's Parliament Building 

A protester set himself on fire on Monday in front of Switzerland’s parliament building, to protest conditions in Bern’s asylum centres.

Protestors demanded equal treatment, the right to work for asylum seekers and the ending of isolation of individuals at refugee centres.

One video ran by a local television channel, showed the man had been engulfed by flames, before running towards the edge of parliament square.

Paramedic and fire services were called to the scene, as several onlookers ran after him to help put out the fire.

The man, who many witnesses said was Iranian and had been denied asylum in Switzerland, did not suffer life-threatening injuries.


 Switzerland’s Controversial Asylum Policy

The protestor was taking part in a demonstration organized by the “Stopp Isolation” group, who believe that new asylum return centres in Bern are like “open prisons, on the edge of society”.

Last Friday, authorities wrote a letter to the Member of “Stopp Isolation” group defending the “democratically legitimate” handling of Asylum centres, sparking the recent demonstration.

However, Switzerland is due to hold a referendum in September on limiting the free movement of people with the European Union.

Read more from Reuters, Swiss Info and, Info Migrants.

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