Last weekend, 55% of voters in the canton of Zurich voted in favour of a plan to require the disclosure of the nationality of those suspected of committing crimes in police reports.
Changing this rule is an issue that has been pushed by some of Switzerland’s politicians for decades. The argument for the disclosure is greater transparency.
The counter argument is that it can be misleading and fuel discrimination. Four years ago the city of Zurich stopped automatically publishing the nationality of crime suspects for this reason.
An additional proposal put forward by the Swiss People’s Party (SVP/UDC) requiring the disclosure of a migrant background was rejected by 66% of voters.
The canton of Zurich joins Solothurn and St. Gallen as the only cantons in Switzerland with a law requiring the disclosure of the nationality of crime suspects on police reports.
In 2012, voters in Solothurn voted in favour of a law to force the local police and judiciary to give the nationality of offenders in press releases. In St Gallen, parliament adopted a similar initiative in 2010.
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