A Swiss National Council committee has come out in support of a parliamentary initiative put forward by the country's right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) that would allow the electronic devices of asylum seekers to be checked for evidence of their identity.

Around 20,000 asylum seekers arrived in Switzerland without passports or other official identity documents in 2016. This makes the task of verifying their identity or country of origin difficult.

The SVP believes accessing the mobile phones, tablets and laptops could aid in this process and it has now won the backing of a lower house parliamentary committee which supported the move with 17 votes in favour and seven against.

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