A Swiss military court on Thursday convicted a border guard for refusing medical assistance to a heavily pregnant Syrian refugee who miscarried while being sent back to Italy. The guard was found guilty of causing bodily harm through negligence, attempting to interrupt a pregnancy and repeated failure to carry out his duty, Swiss news agency ATS reported.
He was given a suspended six-month prison sentence and a suspended fine, it said. The Syrian woman was part of a group of 36 refugees handed over by French authorities to their Swiss counterparts, who in turn sent them to Italy. The refugees included the woman’s husband and her two-year-old child. They were taken by bus and train from Vallorbe in western Switzerland to Domodossola in Italy on July 4, 2014.
During the long journey, the woman, who was seven months pregnant, complained of stomach pains and bleeding, before losing her baby. The Swiss court ruled that the border guard in charge of the transit was responsible for the stillbirth. The doctor who treated the woman upon her arrival in Italy told Swiss public broadcaster SRF that “if this woman had received assistance in Switzerland, this tragedy could have been avoided.”