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Migration Board 'violates human rights': report

Migration Board 'violates human rights': report

Published: 23 May 2011 09:08 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 May 2011 09:08 GMT+02:00

Sweden's top watchdog has slammed the Migration Board (Migrationsverket) for human rights violations stemming from the agency's detention practices for people awaiting deportation.

The Ombudsmen for Justice (Justitieombudsmannen – JO) is especially critical of the Migration Board's practice of placing deportees with mental problems in local jails, calling the practice especially inappropriate and oppressive.

On its own initiative, the ombudsman has conducted an investigation of Migration Board detention centres, uncovering a number of major shortcomings and human rights violations, especially for so-called "security placements" at facilities run by the Swedish Prison and Probation Service (Kriminalvården).

Routinely locking people who are considered a danger to others and to themselves in jails lacks legal basis, according to the ombudsman.

The practice not only constitutes a palpable abuse of liberty and unnecessary coercion, but also risks worsening the mental health of those who are detained.

"As the responsible authority, the Migration Board deserves serious criticism for these ongoing abuses," ombudsman Hans-Gunnar Axberger said in a statement.

He lodged additional criticism against Swedish migration authorities for overusing the rules that allow them to place people awaiting deportation in remand centres run by prison authorities and that transportation issues result in detainees routinely being placed under arrest or in remand for longer periods of times than the drafters of the legislation intended.

The ombudsman also took issue with the fact that the right to decide on whether or not someone should be placed in a jail has been delegated to employees paid by the hour.

Caroline Henjered, a manager with the Migration Board, said the agency takes the ombudsman's critique very seriously.

"It's also an issue we've brought up ourselves and which we see as not good. It's a matter we're wrestling with," she told the TT news agency.

Henjered pointed to an inquiry which recently submitted its final report with the aim of creating a new law which lives up to requirements laid out in an EU directive from 2008 regarding the detention of foreigners awaiting deportation.

The Migration Board believes that the agency needs to cooperate with the prison service but also with health authorities when it comes to mentally fragile detainees.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:43 May 23, 2011 by jomamas
Sweden is the laughing stock of the world.

If you have people with 'mental problems' sneaking into your country, then a jail is absolutely fine as a solution - including those without mental problems.

They will be safe, fed, access to healthcare - and not cause harm to themselves or others.

To make the process less challenging for migrants - process their paperwork within a week and send them home.
11:51 May 23, 2011 by technoviking
Much better to have them out amongst the population threatening their well being of course...
12:08 May 23, 2011 by CarlBlack
The whole article somehow forgets to mention the key fact, whether these people are in Sweden illegally. Also the statement mental problem or even mentally fragile in the end: what does it mean? Is it just euphemism for dangerous and violent psychos?
12:50 May 23, 2011 by RobinHood
"Routinely locking people who are considered a danger to others and to themselves in jails lacks legal basis." JO

Deyan Deyanov a mentally ill Bulgarian immigrant to Spain was allowed to live in the community for many months to protect his human rights. On 13 May, in a Spanish supermarket, Deyan stabbed an old lady 14 times, and then cut off her head. He then ran about the streets with her head claiming it to be his "treasure". The Spanish have tossed Deyan into a cell and will "review" his condition in four years.

Perhaps the authors of this critical report might help protect Deyan and his fellow lunatic's human rights by inviting them to live with them in their homes.
12:56 May 23, 2011 by karex
So what happens to someone who is not detained while awaiting deportation? Do you think they'll stick around waiting patiently to be deported? They will disappear, of course.

But the most moronic statement is yet to come:

"Routinely locking people who are considered a danger to others and to themselves in jails lacks legal basis, according to the ombudsman."

So I finally I get how things work here, no wonder no one goes to prison - unless they cheated on their taxes, of course.
13:00 May 23, 2011 by Truthgate
they did worse than that, and no one can say anything, so what.
14:24 May 23, 2011 by Syftfel
It's interesting how the besserwissers are trying to turn this into a human right issue. Sweden needs to do whatever it can to prpotect its citizens. And that inc,ludes detaining those who pose a threat or who will not voluntarily depart when ordered to do so. Don't listen to these jerks at the JO. Instead the Migration Board should be given enhanced powers, even if percieved as "oppressive" by some liberal, lefty, and anarchistic elements. We're talking about preserving Swedish identity, culture and national sovereignty here. Not the "civil rights" or "mental health" of those who violate our laws. If "mental health" is an issue, send them home quicker instead. It is the Swedes who have their rights violated, not the lawbreakers.
16:05 May 23, 2011 by laura ka baal
Migration Board must ban entry of all the foreigners ,and if they allow entry they should give them equal rights, just to show the world how good sweden is does!nt works anymore, everyone knows about swedish people now with smile in their face saying hej hej and poison in their heart.
16:18 May 23, 2011 by Carbarrister
Maybe the Migration Board should rent some space at Gitmo.
17:11 May 23, 2011 by occassional
@Carbarrister

About right. Half the types around look the part anyway.
18:43 May 23, 2011 by princeally
hypocrite people.
20:47 May 23, 2011 by here for the summer
@thelocal why do you use the word "slammed" so often ? Is it common in British english ? or do you think it is the best translation of a Swedish word. The word and the concept is very uncommon in US english. Perhaps sharply criticized is the phrase you are looking for but even that is in frequently used since criticized is quite strong on it's own.

I also wonder why "locking people who are considered a danger to others and to themselves in jails " is not a good thing ?
07:15 May 24, 2011 by kapilnarwal
well being an outsider I'd suggest ...........you just need better watchdogs........not every outsider is dangerous for Sweden......and if anyone is,put them in jail........
10:30 May 25, 2011 by Revenge
This concerns me directly, I am in detention waiting for deportation for the last 16 months, today I started the 17th month, what the Ombudsmen for Justice has talked about is really like 5% of what is going on in these places, well... the simplest thing I can say is that I complained about urinating blood for two months and after that period I was taken to a hospital.....etc lots and lots more. Maybe you do not like immigrants but there is no need to torture them.
11:37 May 25, 2011 by Commoner
@ laurakabaal

"Everyone knows about swedish people now with smile in their face saying hej hej and poison in their heart. "

Would H.M enlighten us with which country he comes from? I wonder whether your home country would have given any privileges at all to the foreigners coming there, if any?

What do you expect here....a Red carpet welcome:)

Desperate people can do anything to stay here...So that might be the reason they put them in jails,,,lest they harm themselves and other in a desperate attempt to live here.

The Mgr should not hesitate to do whatever serves the national interest best.
12:34 May 25, 2011 by infidel2012
@laura ka baal

You're an unwelcome guest in Sweden, If you don't agree how this country runs it's affairs, then make no haste on your speedy exit back to your cave in the desert, Ingrate Insurgent!

Meanwhile, enjoy your short visit in Scandinavia, but not too much : )
14:20 May 25, 2011 by Rick Methven
@infidel2012 "You're an unwelcome guest in Sweden"

So are you. When are you going to leave?

Never mind I expect you will be banned again very soon Like your Zerotolerance and bravo96 nicks
00:59 May 26, 2011 by laura ka baal
@infidel2012

We never came ur country invited us a boom in economy ,You stinking hole, you viking, we are not the one coming from iraq/afghanistan or caves as u say, we taught you bloody vikings how to eat how to talk and increase in ur countries economy u stinking hole.
11:41 May 27, 2011 by otwa
it is very obvious that people in the migrationsverket are racist.
15:38 May 27, 2011 by infidel2012
I have it on good authority that Rick Methven avatar user is an employee of the local, as well as comments from some other posters are not from genuine outside readers and are manufactured in order to generate controversial discussions, which attracts more readership.

@ Rick Methven

You're from Scotland right? Have another drink then. you'll blend in fine with the rest of the drunks here in Sweden : )

@ laura ka baal

Well, first things first, learn the g*d-damned English language before making comments here, hence "Sweden's News in English" as the Locals' slogan states.

Second, with all you under-educated, unintelligent scribbles, along with your avatar name as laura 'ka baal', gives an impression of, now get ready for it, that your not a Scandinavian, but a possible muslim insurgent waiting for a phone call to proceed with plans here in Sverige.

Just so you know, Swedes are now on alert to your kind since last years December incident in Stockholm. All eyes will be on the religion of peace immigrants, making sure Sweden is a safe place to live for the Westerners.

Check - Mate !
23:06 May 31, 2011 by annielee
I just don't understand something:

If you immigrated to a country so terribly unfair and racist, why don't you people go back to your homeland? Why do you stay in Sweden if you're so mistreated?

Do you stay for the money, do you stay for the benefits, for certain job?

Well, that's an interesting scale of values. You prefer to be "so discriminated and humilliated" in exchange.

And why don't you come around more often telling us how people see other different cultures in your own country?

Why don't you come around once in a while to critizice your country and tell us what's good in Sweden that make you stay here?

BECAUSE I GUESS THERE IS A REASON WHY YOU DECIDED TO LEAVE IT IN A FIRST PLACE.
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