Basel, Switzerland: Violence Against Refugees is Systematic – A Call for Action

Received on 04.06.2020: 

Recently it became publicly known that systematic violence is perpetrated against refugees in the federal asylum camp in Basel (Switzerland). Obviously this violence is neither an isolated case nor is it limited to the asylum camps in Switzerland.

This violence is systematic and the system has names. Those responsible are internationally represented and operate in many different places. Let’s name them and show them that their actions bear consequences.

The spread of the coronavirus has highlighted the violence of the European migration regime – both at the EU external border as well as in local asylum camps and prisons.

This call wants to continue the intensified struggles against it.

What are federal asylum camps?

Since the spring of 2019, asylum seekers in Switzerland are being administered in so-called federal asylum centres. The accelerated asylum procedures related to the erection of these new structures do not result in fairer procedures for most of the persons affected, but in faster deportation. The federal asylum camps are often geographically isolated. The type of construction, the location, as well as the rules imposed are reminding of prisons and other institutions that deprive people of their freedom. They are contributing to the racist constructs of the nation state and borders.

Whether the Swiss federal asylum centres, the German anchor centres, the CIE (Centro di Identificazione ed Espulsione/ Centro de Internamiento de Extranjeros) or the French CPA (Centre de Premier Accueil): they are all part of the European migration regime, which categorises, isolates and deports people by force and coercion.

For the maintenance of these camp structures, various sectors must be covered. The include, for example, construction, administration, delivery of food, transportation, servicing, surveillance and security services.

All these tasks are entrusted to companies that profit financially from the precarious situation of people in search of asylum.

What is happening is Basel?

Reports from witnesses show that in the federal asylum camp in Basel people from the Maghreb are deliberately harassed, abused, beaten and in some cases seriously injured by employees of the Security AG. The disciplinary measures referred to by Securitas as “self-defence” often end in hospital for those persons affected.

Securitas is mandated and gets covered by the camp operator ORS and the SEM (State Secretariat for Migration): Those persons affected by the mistreatment are being blamed for any incidents. The injuries inflicted by Securitas employees are racist portrayed in the official reports as self-inflicted injuries by “aggressive North Africans”.

The federal asylum camp in Basel is located directly next to the (deportation-) prison “Bässlergut”. Both in the prison and in the camp, there was and still is resistance from detainees. Actions and attacks against these institutions also take place outside the walls.

Further info:

– Documentation brochure of the Securitas violence in Basel (in German):

– Information and past actions concerning the Bässlergut (in German):

On the security business

In Switzerland, Securitas AG is mainly responsible for “security and order services” in the federal asylum camps. Protectas is also deployed in the camps. Protectas is the Swiss version of the internationally active Securitas Group (logo with the three red dots), which has nothing to do with Securitas AG in Switzerland (eye logo).

There are many other companies that offer these services and thus carry out the direct oppression and control of people through psychological and physical violence.

On the “Organization for Regie and Special Projects (ORS)”

In Switzerland, ORS has a near monopoly in the management of asylum camps. It operates internationally in Italy, Germany, Austria and Spain (under development) and has an EU office in Belgium.

ORS Service GmbH
Muthgasse 36
AT-1190 Wien
+43 (0)1 8906666-808

ORS Deutschland GmbH
Albert-Schweitzer-Str. 16
D-78052 Villingen-Schwenningen
+49 (0)7721 697 18 40

ORS Deutschland GmbH
Güterhallenstrasse 4
D-79106 Freiburg
Tel. +49 (0)761 769 931 20

ORS S.r.l.
Piazza Annibaliano 18
I-00198 Roma

ORS Group
14b Rue de la Science
1040 Bruxelles

Further addresses (in Switzerland) of responsible companies can be found in the call at

++++ This is a call! ++++

For solidarity beyond national borders. Let’s fight together against the Fortress Europe and all its pillars!

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