Switzerland Considering Banning Hezbollah

Following its neighbor Germany, Switzerland is now considering banning Hezbollah members from entry, following an investigative report on the activities of the party in Switzerland.

Member of the National Council of Switzerland and president of the Christian Democrats (CVP), Gerhard Pfister, named the Iran-backed Hezbollah party as “the best-armed terrorist organization in the world” that could also be a threat to European states.

National Council of Switzerland

Earlier in June, a campaign was launched by Swiss politician Marianne Binder-Kellera of the Christian Democratic People’s Party to investigate whether or not the militia is active in Switzerland.

Now, the Federal Council of Switzerland has agreed to review the “Report on the activities of Hezbollah in Switzerland” and make a decision whether or not they are legitimate.

The Swiss report states that the European Union banned in 2013 the military branch of Hezbollah that engaged in terrorist activities, and that “it is not known which activities Hezbollah is developing in Switzerland.”

“In view of the neutrality of Switzerland, however, the activities of Hezbollah cannot be legitimized and a report is also advisable for reasons of security policy,” the report says.

According to The National, German MP Bijan Djir-Sarai, backed up by numerous lawmakers, is reiterating its call to the E.U “to ban the Iran-backed militia Hezbollah following the devastating explosion in Beirut.”

“The explosion drew attention to the role of foreign, non-state actors within the fragile fabric of Lebanon,” Djir-Sarai, who grew up in Iran, wrote in the German newspaper Die Welt, stating that it would be a mistake to “leave Lebanon to its fate, its failure.”

“It is well known that both the port of Beirut and the airport are under the control of the Tehran-controlled Shiite Hezbollah militia,” he added, stressing that the organization “has a firm grip on” Lebanon.

From its side, the European Union’s ban of Hezbollah has so far differentiated between the party’s military and political wings.

However, earlier in July, “236 lawmakers from both sides of the Atlantic,” signed a declaration that the EU’s ban of Hezbollah “was not enough, and the distinction between the political and military arms is ‘false,'” reported Politico News.

Countries like the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, and Lithuania have already banned Hezbollah’s members from entering their premises and, most likely, Switzerland seems to be heading towards taking the same decision.

Switzerland banning of Hezbollah would include the seizure and freezing of their bank assets in Swiss territory and forbidding the party’s symbols to be displayed in public spaces and in propaganda films and documents.