Federal Act on Police Measures to Combat Terrorism (PMCT)

On the 13 June 2021 the Swiss electorate voted on the Federal Act on Police Measures to Combat Terrorism (PMCT).


Since the attacks in Paris in 2015, terrorists have carried out several dozen further attacks in Europe. According to the Federal Intelligence Service (FIS), Switzerland also remains subject to an increased terrorist threat. Currently, the police can normally take action only if a person has committed an offence. In order to prevent terrorist attacks, the Federal Council and Parliament have introduced new legislation which allows the police to take preventive action more easily. However, owing to concerns about fundamental rights, a referendum has been called against the new act.

The Federal Act on Police Measures to Combat Terrorism allows the authorities to take action against persons who pose a terrorist risk. Various measures may be taken against these persons: for example, they may be required to report to the authorities, or they may banned from contacting specific persons or leaving the country. In the most extreme case, a person can be placed under house arrest. House arrest must always be approved by a court. If a canton, the FIS or a commune has specific and immediate indications that a person poses a terrorist risk, the competent authority can apply to the Federal Office of Police (fedpol) for the new measures to be imposed. The person concerned can appeal to the Federal Administrative Court against any measure ordered. The Federal Council and Parliament have given assurances that the proposed new law is compatible with fundamental freedoms and human rights.

Who is entitled to vote? Where and how to vote?

Last modification 13.06.2021

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