- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy
There are a lot of bizarre things in this Der Spiegel intervew with Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, which focuses largely on his ongoing feud with the country of Switzerland, including the hard-to-believe claim that he’s only now hearing that his son Hannibal was accused of assault in Geneva in 2008 . But Qaddafi’s most over-the-top claim may be that Switzerland’s legalized assisted suicide facilities are actually some kind of secret death camp:
SPIEGEL: Don’t Libyans also have secret accounts in Switzerland?
Gadhafi: Yes, there are also Libyans who have such accounts, and many of them have also died in unexplained ways. All around the world, the families of these people are going to sue Switzerland. And one more thing: Switzerland is the only country that allows euthanasia. Why does only Switzerland do that?
SPIEGEL: Medical euthanasia is also legal in the Netherlands. And, it cannot go unmentioned that Libya has previously had citizens killed abroad who were said to be disloyal.
Gadhafi: But we are talking now about Switzerland. It is possible that among the Libyans who you are asking about — and who died abroad — there were also some who died because they had secret accounts in Switzerland.
SPIEGEL: And you are seriously maintaining that Switzerland as a state ordered the killing of these people?
Gadhafi: The investigations will show this. And this brings me back once again to the phenomenon of assisted suicide. A large number of people have been deliberately eliminated under this pretext. Switzerland maintains that these individuals expressed the desire to take their lives. But in reality it was done to get at their money. More than 7,000 people have died like this. I am thus calling for Switzerland to be dissolved as a state. The French part should go to France, the Italian part to Italy and the German part to Germany.
Qaddafi’s claims are obviously ridiculous. But it also should be said that the assisted sucicide clinic Dignitas and its megalomaniacal director Ludwig Minelli — most recently back in the news after police found thousands of cremation urns in Lake Zurich — have a Kevorkianesque ability to make their own cause look really bad. They haven’t really done wonders for their host country’s image either.