What difficulties was the young Syrian who requested legal assistance from you facing?
Marwan is a 23-year-old young man originally from Damascus in Syria. He came to Switzerland to do an internship at an international organisation as part of his studies. While here, the Syrian military authorities ordered him to return home immediately for military service. Marwan opposed the army’s activities in his home country which was in the grip of civil war, so refused to do as ordered and sought asylum in Switzerland. He was alone and unsure how to go about this so contacted the HCR, which then gave him a list of bodies which could provide legal assistance.
Is legal assistance for asylum seekers a ISS service?
Yes, it is. He approached ISS, which was able to take on his case. ISS gave him legal and moral support which allowed Marwan to obtain his B permit within a year and return to his studies.