Swiss Federal Tribunal, 6B 120/2021, 11 April 2022
The Swiss Federal Tribunal upheld the conviction of a woman who violated the Swiss federal law prohibiting Al-Qaïda and the Islamic State. This woman had travelled to Syria (in the territories of the Islamic State) in 2014 (when she was under the age of 18) and had lived in a community there for several months, with the financial support of the Islamic State. In 2015, she went back to Switzerland. In 2018, the Children Tribunal for the Winterthur district convicted her of ten years of imprisonment. The conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal of the Zurich Canton in 2020. The woman filed a complaint before the Swiss Federal Tribunal, which however rejected her application.
First of all, the Federal Tribunal held that the law prohibiting Al-Qaïda and the Islamic State (still in force until the end of 2022) was correctly applied by lower courts. Moreover, art. 74 of the federal law on informative activities prescribes the same prohibition.
Additionally, the Tribunal ruled that the allegation of the plaintiff that the law is too vague and violates the principle of legality has to be rejected. In fact, the law is sufficiently clear and precise in defining which conducts have to be repressed, and the conduct of the plaintiff perfectly fits the definition.
(Comment by Chiara Graziani)