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CIA terror deportee released from Cairo jail

Published: 11 Aug 2011 08:06 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Aug 2011 08:06 GMT+02:00

Ahmed Agiza, one of the two Egyptians whose 2001 deportation from Sweden to Egypt caused a political scandal and who has been jailed since then, has now been released from a Cairo prison, according to media reports.

"I was released last Tuesday. I have been free a week now. I am feeling fine," Agiza said to the Dagens Nyheter daily.

Agiza and compatriot Mohammed Alzery were brutally forced out of Sweden by the CIA in 2001 and flown to Egypt where they were interrogated under torture.

Karlstad-resident Ahmed Agiza has spent almost ten years in a cell in the Tora prison in Cairo, convicted by a military court of having been a member of a terror-linked organisation.

The decision to release Agiza was made by the social democratic government at the behest of the United States and has been welcomed by international human rights organizations.

Ahmed Agiza is currently staying with his mother in southern Cairo and the family are working on bringing him back to Sweden to be reunited with his wife and two children.

"We have been waiting since people with a political background and been tried in military courts started to be released. Then we became very concerned, why did it not happen, why wasn't he released? Now it feels wonderful, the family and I are very happy," Agiza's wife Hana Attia said to the TT news agency.

Attia is now leading the family's fight to get her husband a residence permit to come to Sweden.

"We hope that he can come to Sweden," she said.

The deportation caused a political scandal in Sweden and the UN in 2010 criticised the country for breaching a ban on expelling suspects to countries where torture is practiced.

After Sweden's intelligence agency Säpo ordered that both men be expelled, they were handed over to US agents, put on a plane leased by the Pentagon and flown to Egypt.

The pair claimed they were mistreated during their transfer to Cairo and then tortured during their detention in Egypt.

In Egypt, Agiza received a 25-year prison sentence for terrorism which was later reduced to 15 years. Zery was freed by an Egyptian military court.

Sweden agreed in July 2008 to pay more than €300,000 (then $470,000) to Zery after admitting that he was wrongly expelled.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:48 August 11, 2011 by wolverine2k
oh what the heck! Bring them back so they can really prove their terrorist roots by blasting a couple of more bombs.

(sarcasm intended)
10:05 August 11, 2011 by axiom
Sounds to me like this was well and truly bungled. Everyone seemingly admitting in the end that they were wrong.

These men, may very well have links to terrorism, who knows, but what we know is that the facts and the actions of the authorities so far are not supporting this, even after 10years.

No one's life should be ripped apart like this, at anyone's or anything's behest unless proof is rock solid.

An cmon Sweden, you shouldn't be deporting a prisoner into a system where torture is known to be used, torture is not only cruel but it has never been shown to work.
12:42 August 11, 2011 by jacquelinee
I agree, if they were just suspected this should have not happened until proven. However, anyone who has emmigrated to Sweden and perpetuates acts of lawlessness, crime, terrorism etc should be given the boot out instantly. Do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars! (Monopoly for those who don´t understand) If you spit in the face of a country who has been gracious enough to allow you in, you should have to give up ALL your rights in that country...period. That is how it should be. As a law abiding immigrant, I have no problem with that idea.
16:35 August 11, 2011 by jostein
How fortunate that Egypt is now free so they can return to their home country. I think that sweden could pay goodwill money towards this families new life and i wish them happiness and best of luck.
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