Sweden - Amnesty International Report 2008

Human Rights in KINGDOM OF SWEDEN

Amnesty International  Report 2013


The 2013 Annual Report on
Sweden is now live »

Head of State : King Carl XVI Gustaf
Head of government : Fredrik Reinfeldt
Death penalty : abolitionist for all crimes
Population : 9.1 million
Life expectancy : 80.5 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f) : 4/4 per 1,000

The new government reversed a decision by the previous administration which had led to multiple human rights violations against two people summarily expelled to Egypt. Asylum-seekers continued to face a risk of being returned to Eritrea, despite recommendations from international bodies that all such returns should be stopped.

‘War on terror’

In March, the new Swedish government, elected in October 2006, formally reversed an order made by the previous administration to expel Mohammed El Zari to Egypt. In May it did the same with regard to the order made to expel Ahmed Agiza to Egypt.

Two UN human rights bodies, the Committee against Torture and the Human Rights Committee, have now found that the Swedish authorities were responsible for multiple human rights violations suffered by these two men following their summary expulsion from Sweden to Egypt in 2001.

In May, it was reported that the Swedish Migration Board had rejected Mohammed El Zari’s application for a residence permit. According to reports this decision was reached on the basis of advice from the Swedish Security Police (Säpo), on the grounds that Mohammed El Zari would pose a threat to Swedish national security if permitted to return there.

The final decision in such cases is taken by the government. No such final decision on the application of Mohammed El Zari had been taken by the end of the year.

In October, it was reported that the Migration Board had also rejected an application for a residence permit made by Ahmed Agiza. The reason given for this decision was that Ahmed Agiza would be unable to make use of a residence permit for the foreseeable future, since he remained in prison in Egypt. Again, no final decision on his application had been reached by the end of the year.

By the end of the year no decision had been made public as to the applications for reparation in the form of financial compensation which the two men have made.

Refugees and asylum-seekers

The Swedish authorities continued to refuse applications made by Eritrean asylum-seekers, therefore exposing them to a risk of being returned to Eritrea, despite recommendations to all states by the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, to halt all forcible returns to Eritrea.