Beat Jans has to answer: Hostage-taking is becoming an issue in parliament


YverdonBeat Jans has to answer: Hostage-taking is becoming an issue in parliament

A few days ago, a hostage-taking on a train caused an uproar. The hostage taker was an asylum seeker from Iran – the case is now causing political waves.

Christina Pirskanen
  • A 32-year-old Iranian held 15 people hostage for several hours on a train in Yverdon VD last Thursday.

  • He was shot during the police attack and died from his injuries.

  • Now an SVP National Councilor is demanding answers from the Federal Council.

  • Among other things, he wants to know what measures the Federal Council wants to take to avoid such situations.

On Thursday evening there was a hostage-taking on a train in Yverdon VD. The 15 hostages had to stay on the train for around four hours – the hostage taker was armed with an axe, a knife and a hammer. When he was briefly distracted, the police attacked – and shot the 32-year-old asylum seeker after he allegedly approached the police and hostages. He died on site.

The 32-year-old was Iranian. According to RTS, he is said to have first applied for asylum in Greece before coming to Switzerland in August 2022. According to the Dublin system, Greece would be responsible for his asylum procedure – his dossier was assigned to the canton of Geneva.

In the past, he is said to have received medical care due to his fragile mental state – according to research by the «NZZ» (Paid article) The Iranian is said to have last told the authorities on February 7th that he no longer needed medical help. A day later he took action.

A video is intended to show the situation from inside the train during the hostage-taking in Yverdon VD.


Federal Council should clarify open questions

It is unclear whether the Iranian had already been classified as dangerous in advance and was receiving psychological care. The Vaud SVP National Councilor Yvan Pahud now wants to know this from the Federal Council – more precisely from Asylum Minister Beat Jans.

Pahud wants to submit an interpellation and ask his open questions at the next question time during the spring session, which starts on February 26th. On the one hand, he wants to clarify the questions mentioned above – but also to know what status the asylum seeker had, what he did on the Yverdon-Sainte-Croix train and what measures the Federal Council intends to take to avoid such situations.

“The Swiss population has the right to feel safe and there needs to be zero tolerance towards asylum seekers who pose a threat to those working in the asylum system and to the population and who harm the population through their behavior,” Pahud told 20 Minutes. These must be sent back as quickly as possible “regardless of their asylum procedure,” said the SVP man.

Jans interrupted his skiing vacation

Asylum Minister Beat Jans spoke out on Twitter one day after the crime: He quickly canceled his skiing vacation and contacted the police forces involved. He also assured that the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) would also work with the affected cantons to examine the background to the case and examine possible consequences.

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