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Pakistan to free Swede held in terror probe

Published: 07 Oct 2009 17:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Oct 2009 17:30 GMT+02:00

The 19-year-old Safia Benaouda and her two-year-old son, who have been imprisoned in Pakistan since August, are to be released “shortly”, according to the Swedish foreign ministry.

Two other Swedes who were arrested at the same time as Benaouda, her 28-year-old boyfriend, Munir Awad, and Mehdi Gezhali, a Swedish national once imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, are not going to released, however, said foreign ministry spokesperson Anders Jörle to the TT news agency.

It remains unclear when the remaining two Swedes, who have been the subject of a terror investigation, may be released.

Pakistan’s Minister of the Interior Rehman Malik announced the impending release of Benaouda and her son when he met with Sweden’s ambassador in Islamabad, Ulrika Sundberg.

There have been several previous reports that Benaouda had been released or was about to be released, but Wednesday’s news is the first time the information has been confirmed by both Swedish and Pakistani officials.

Malik, who is in charge of Pakistan’s police force, said on Tuesday that he would receive a report about the detained Swedes on Wednesday, at which time he would made a decision about their fate as soon as possible.

The Swedes have been detained since August 28th when they were arrested in northern Pakistan, along with seven Turks, an Iranian, a Russian, and one Pakistani, according the police.

The police reported that the group was arrested in a prohibited area near a nuclear power facility.

Police suspect the group was on its way to rendezvous with representatives from the Taliban in southern Waziristan, long considered a Taliban stronghold.

One of the Swedes claimed the group was in fact on its way to a meeting with a Muslim revivalist movement in the city of Lahore.

It took until September 16th for Swedish authorities to receive formal confirmation that the Swedes had in fact been arrested.

According to foreign ministry spokesperson Anders Jörle, personnel from Sweden’s embassy in Pakistan were able to meet the four Swedish detainees on one occasion.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

02:13 October 8, 2009 by here for the summer
I clearly understand getting the 2 year old to safety should have happened earlier but why is the Swedish government so intent on getting his mother a 19 year old terror suspect released?
08:16 October 8, 2009 by hpunlimited
You do not split up a mother from its child, it is international law.
10:27 October 8, 2009 by boby
She is not a terrorist but a freedom figther. She should be declared a national hero in Sweden and the government should sent a private jet to collect her.
10:54 October 8, 2009 by peropaco
@Boby, considering how suck-balls stupid is the Swedish administration, it would not surprise me at all if the organize a ticker-tape parade for her and all of their home grown terrorist.
11:13 October 8, 2009 by Texrusso
This is good thing about Swedish Government, they fight for every citizen regardless of your color or race and situation. This type of attitude will pay off in the future. It will create more patriotism among naturalized and foriegn born Swedish Citizens: A feeling of belonging, strong ties for Sweden and ready to die for Sweden under any circumstances. That is what it means if you are citizen of a country. Just like the USA takes care of her own. President Clinton and his entourage had to fly to North Korea to negotiate for the release of 3 Americans of Korean decent. Does it matter if they are Asian decent? hell no!!! Most important thing is that they are American Citizens. The relationship between a state and citizens must always be fortified in every humanly possible way. Bravo to Sweden!!
11:24 October 8, 2009 by boby
LOL @ Texrusso

patriotism? In Sweden? You must be mad. Soon it will be not allowed to present the national flag in Sweden as it offend some of the 'Swedes'. This is the most segregated country I have ever seen. You cross the city from one side to the other, and its like to go to another plant.
12:01 October 8, 2009 by KamiZ
@boby

how exactly does a terrorism suspect become a freedom fighter? and what do you mean when you say "and its like to go to another plant"? did you mean planet? because plant doesn't make sense. come to think of it, neither does calling a terrorist a freedom fighter
12:02 October 8, 2009 by trinaican
@ boby..Im curious to find out why you think this is 'segregation'?
12:45 October 8, 2009 by DreEstwd
Agreed with Boby. His point was the when you go from say...Örgryte to Biskopsgården in Göteborg. Or from Malmö C to Rosengård it is like going from one planet to the next. And that is true! I had to go to Rosengård the other day and I definitely felt like I wasn't in Sweden anymore. More like Somalia or Iraq. Half of the signs on the stores were in Arabic. Didn't see one woman without a headscarf. I was half-expecting to see some form of morality police or the Mahdi Army walking around. The only funny part was that the food stores actually had to put up signs saying , 'Smackprova förbjuden." Integration was clearly not the goal there.
13:02 October 8, 2009 by HowSwedeitis
"Texrusso" is spot on.

Logic? With "Boby?" You must be mad.

-HSII
16:16 October 8, 2009 by boby
Sweden is very segregated. There are area for white swedes only, like Velinge or Limhamn in Malmo, Skanor, etc. Then you have the Muslim areas, like Rasengard. For all practical terms, Swedish law does not apply in the prodominentely Muslim areas. Swedish police and fire fighters wont go into Rasengard.

On the other hand, a Muslim trying to move to Velinge will have some serioues issues. The commun also refuses to take any refugees.
18:06 October 8, 2009 by Texrusso
@boby:

Not taking refugees into communities is more about value of properties than segregation. Secondly, most foriegners isolate them selves into one community, usually because rent is cheaper in that particular area or also because it is more comfortable for them to live among foreigners. I believe that if an immigrant/non native Swedes can afford to rent or buy a house in areas you mentioned like Velinge or Limhamn in Malmo, Skanor, etc were you said lived predominantly white/native Swedes, no one will deprive you of that. This is more a question of rich and poor, haves and have nots and in most cases the most foreigners are still under the middle class wage. At the end of the day, the property value falls in those community with large number of immigrants and this will also attract more and more under middle class and here we see a natural immigrant community forming and turning into what you so called segregation.
13:25 October 9, 2009 by here for the summer
This group which includes this woman the Swedish government spent tax payer money getting freed was reportly carrying detonaters.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091009/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan
22:38 October 9, 2009 by DreEstwd
And this is the daughter of the leader of the Swedish Muslim Council. Way to represent.
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