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CIA rendition deportee: 'Sweden is responsible'
An undated file photo of Ahmed Agiza

CIA rendition deportee: 'Sweden is responsible'

Published: 15 Aug 2011 09:12 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Aug 2011 09:12 GMT+02:00

Agiza met with several representatives of the Swedish media in Cario on the condition that he not be asked about the circumstances surrounding his 2001 forced deportation.

He, along with fellow Egyptian national Mohammed Alzery, were forcibly handed over to the CIA by Swedish security service agents as part of a so called terror suspect “rendition” operation carried out by the US spy agency.

The deportations were criticised by both the United Nations and several human rights groups.

“I see this is Sweden's responsibility because they made the decision despite that they knew what the Egyptians would do,” Agiza told Sveriges Radio (SR).

Karlstad-resident Agiza 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 in Egypt at the behest of the United States and has been welcomed by international human rights organizations.

However, he has several lasting injuries from the torture he suffered while in Egyptian prison. Among other things, his nose was broken, making it difficult for him to breath.

“I've been able to meet with a specialist at a centre for torture injuries to receive help. The problem is that my brain is in high gear even when I sleep,” he told TV4.

Two years ago, Agiza had his application for a Swedish residency permit denied based on secret information held by Swedish security service Säpo.

Agiza claims that he's never been a threat.

“I'm no terrorist, I'm not some sort of security risk for Sweden,” he told Sveriges Television (SVT).

Agiza and Alzery have received 3 million kronor ($464,000) each in compensation from the Swedish state.

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

Your comments about this article

10:13 August 15, 2011 by jacquelinee
No one should be imprisioned injustly. However , this man was more than willing to speak up against the alleged wrongs that befell him and yet...

" he not be asked about the circumstances surrounding his 2001 forced deportation." This seems a bit fishy. If someone has nothing to hide, they have no reason not to speak freely. I was very much on his side till I read this,

Seems like he thinks the sympathisers may not be so sympathetic if they hear the whole story. My mother use to say " Be careful how you choose your friends. You are judged by the company you keep." Maybe he should have picked his friends more wisely, but, if he wants the world to hear his story, he should have the guts to tell them the WHOLE story and not just pick the cherries out of the cake, that paint him with a halo.
10:48 August 15, 2011 by Keith #5083
He was/is an Egyptian National it appears. He gets SeK 3M compensation from the Swedish State for being 'repratriated back to Egypt' and gets the compensation because the Swedish Sate 'knew what Egypt would do.'

He has been denied residency in Sweden.

So, how long had he been in Sweden prior to he deportation to Egypt?

Why must Swedish Taxpayers pay for the behaviour of his own,Egyptian, government?

Why does he not also bring his case against Mubarrak who is on trial at this time?
11:29 August 15, 2011 by tgolan
I see that he NEVER addresses the Question of his terrorist ties. I guess it easier to just take the money, and now he wan'ts to live off the swedish tax payer again and continue with his support of terrorists.

Note That he has not once denied his terror connection
11:45 August 15, 2011 by Grokh
oh he wants money.
12:09 August 15, 2011 by Abang Beruang
I commend Swedish state for compensating them. It was the right move. Sweden was brave enough to admit the guilt and do whatever they can to redress the wrong. The whole rendition scheme was a scam and in most cases, it simply inflicted torture and inhuman conditions to many innocent persons. I wish that, one day US also accepts their responsibilities and admit the guilt.

Whatever the pretext or whatever the information is, one can never hold and torture someone on the pretext of national and international security. This is the very basics of western civilizations, if we let this freedom go away today, tomorrow it will hurt us and we will basically create draconian states.

@Keith#5083 and @tgolan, have you ever thought that the compensation from Swedish state may have put the conditions on paper that he would not be allowed to talk about the circumstances when he was arrested in 2011.
13:11 August 15, 2011 by Keith #5083
#Abang Beruang

So you mean he accepted "hush money"? If so, then what is he shouting about now?

I also think that to suggest that democratic countries can enforce silence on foreign nationals when they are elsewhere in the world is a little too 'iranian' for me to agree.
13:14 August 15, 2011 by RobinHood
Sweden broke the law and breached this man's basic human rights. The consequences were he was kidnapped, tortured, tried before a kangaroo court, permanently injured and falsely imprisoned for 10 years. As for the original charge of terrorism, even the US asked for him to be released: "Oooops, wrong guy, sooorry"

Three million kronor isn't enough. There should be a public enquiry, and the people responsible for the decision to hand him over to the US should explain themselves, and face appropriate punishment and humiliation for their cowardice. A public apology from the politicians who approved the decision ten years ago on behalf of themselves, and one from the current administration, on behalf of Sweden might be appropriate too.

The rule of law in a supposedly civilized country broke down under a little bit of pressure from a foreign power. No wonder Julian Assange is a little worried about his safety if this is what happens in Sweden.
14:02 August 15, 2011 by Kublai
If ordinary people only knew how many terrorists (small players but still murderers) are being arrested and then released after only a few days even though there are overwhelming evidence because of do-gooders demanding that. The European do-gooders value terrorists lives much higher than their victims/ordinary citizens. I took part in the release of a terr not long ago and it didn't take long before he was back in business.

But of course, we MUST get them all to come to Sweden and live off the Swedish taxpayers for the rest of their lives while continuing preaching hatred and supporting terrorism.
14:27 August 15, 2011 by Jes
There are thousands of Islamic residents in Sweden . If the CIA picked interest in this guy , there has got to be something unusual about him . For all its weaknesses , the Swedish immigration police could not simply hand over a man to CIA without any evidence that he was up no good .

" I am not a threat -- I am not a terrorist " he says.

Aren`t they all innocent ?

If he is the nice man he claims to be , let him prove it by thanking the country that has taken care of his wife and 6 children while he was away . He can do that by taking his family home to Egypt where he is free today.
17:17 August 15, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ jes

Exactly. There has to be something to it and the fact he won't discuss it makes it even more suspect. But just give him money like they did with the drug dealer in Stockholm who was mugged and his illegial street drugs stolen. Then he was reímbursed by the Swedish taxpayers(via the Swedish government) for the going street rate value of the drugs. (it happened!)

Not saying this man is a terrorist, but there has to be SOME reason.... and his silence on the matter speaks volumes. If he was innocent, there is no reason not to talk about it. ´If he isn't protecting himslf, he is protecting his buddies.
18:13 August 15, 2011 by Kevin Harris
There seems to be some confusion here about terrorism and other offences.

Terrorism, kidnapping, false imprisonment and torture are serious crimes. Such criminals must be prosecuted, convicted and punished. Mr Agiza was convicted of terrorism in an Egyptian military court. As the regime that convicted him has been overthrown, partly for chronic corruption in its legal system, and "evidence" used against him was extracted under horrible torture, and the US has asked for Mr Agiza to be released, I think we can assume the conviction was unsafe, and Mr Agiza is not, and never was, a terrorist. If any of the knowledgeable posters here have evidence that Mr Agiza was/is in fact a terrorist, they must inform the authorities immediately so a new prosecution can be bought. Withholding evidence in these matters is a very serious crime. If they do not, I think it might be best for them if they refrain from further comment. Sweden does have a libel law, and these posters are not necessarily protected by non de plumes. Sleep well jacquelinee, tgolan, kublai and jes, I am sure Mr Agiza won't sue you for every crown you have. Almost!

Now we turn to kidnapping, false imprisonment and torture. These terrible crimes against Mr Agiza have yet to be investigated and prosecuted, but it seems the Swedish and US governments have been caught red handed, Metaphorically and literally; Mr Agiza certainly bled profusely during his torture. Perhaps that is why the Swedish government have slipped him three million Crowns and hope he will disappear - in the nicest possible way - not the way they made him disappear ten years ago.
18:44 August 15, 2011 by eddie123
there is no smoke without fire. the secret rendition program was a disgrace but with the exception of mistaken identity cases, most suspects had a case to answer. i do not support torture neither do i support terrorism (extremism). the important thing is that Agiza is free and if i were him, i would relocate my family from a country that treated me so unjustly (since he blames Sweden instead of Egypt for his torture and ordeal). why seek to return to Sweden?
18:51 August 15, 2011 by Keith #5083
I fully accept there are some 'grey areas' in this debate. A few things, however, remain clear:

1. It was not the Swedish government that 'tortured', convicted and imprisoned him.

2. Despite the current fashion to disbelieve anything our ELECTED governments tell us, it is not unreasonable for the average citizen to feel that there must have been some indications/evidence from the CIA - adequate to satisfy a Swedish Government- that this man was or could possibly be involved in some form of terrorist activity.

3. The application of 'western standards' of juris prudence seem to be open to regular abuse from persons unaccustomed to these standards in their own country.

He is now a free man. As someone has pointed out his family has been cared for here in Sweden (despite him being convicted, whether rightly or wrongly is irrelevant to this point). He has already received a sum of compensation presumably for an error in the technical handling of his 'deportation'. He is not, for whatever reason unknown to the general public, considered a suitable candidate for residency in Sweden.

So I have two questions remaining - who among the posters here would also be highly critical of an elected government in this democracy had a man who might be or could be considered to be a potential risk, been overlooked and had detonated a bomb in Stockholm killing 50 people?

At what point do we expect our 'officials' to be so psychically gifted as to be able to see every eventuality that may arise?
01:19 August 16, 2011 by Potrero
Egypt is currently ruled by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, a military junta. Now they've made some good steps towards reform and I'm hopeful that fair elections and a new constitution are on the way. But by what definition are they a "social democratic government"?
07:28 August 16, 2011 by RobinHood
Oh dear! Some people really don't get it do they? Everybody in Sweden is protected by the rule of law. That law clearly states that everybody here is innocent until proven guilty, and that if a foreign power wishes to extradite a person, it must apply to do so through the Swedish legal system. Those laws are there to protect us all and make Sweden a safe place to be. There are countries that do not have, or ignore those laws; North Korea, Myanmar and Iran for example, some of the posters here might be more comfortable living in those countries.

Now listen carefully. It was illegal for Sweden to detain a man without due cause, and then to deliver him up to a foreign power to be smuggled out of the country on a black flight. All the events that followed; his torture, his fake trial, his imprisonment, his permanent disabilities etc, are down to Sweden. Sweden owes him bigtime!

If, as many here seem to believe, this man is a terrorist, he must be arrested and properly tried. If, he has committed crimes in another country, that country must apply to Sweden for him to be extradited.

That, my redneck trolls, is how the rule of law works in a civilised country. Now off to North Korea with the lot of you. You will all be very happy there, I'm sure. Bring toilet paper and ten years supply of food.
11:03 August 16, 2011 by Jes
Kevin Harris , what everybody seems to be saying is that this man is not totally clean . If he was , he would refuse to take the money until the authorities in USA and Sweden carry out an investigation to find out who is responsible for the torture and the injustice you decribe so eloquently.

okay , three million is a lot of money ; but is it more important for Agiza to get someone from CIA or SAPO to say : " Agiza is not a terrorist ... Agiza was wrongly deported --- Agiza is the nicest , most innocent man that has ever spent 10 years in an Egyptian jail..." ?
22:28 August 16, 2011 by Keith #5083
#Robin Hood

I could almost totally agree with you...except for that little phrase "It was illegal for Sweden to detain a man without due cause".

Without that 'due cause' phrase your logic seems indisputable, though I am not so sure that him being sent back to his own country could be 'blamed' on Sweden.

Is it also illegal for Sweden to refuse residence to a person 'without due cause'? Does anyone, everyone have an automatic right to reside in Sweden? If it is so illegal, then perhaps he would be willing to fight the residency refusal by presenting adequate evidence to dispute the grounds for the refusal.

The alleged torture and wrongful imprisonment did not occur in a Swedish jail. His claims should be more rightly directed at the Egyptian government.But,probably, no such right of redress exists there, so we'll blame Sweden - who clearly believed there was 'due cause' for his original detention but will probably pay.up if enough of a fuss is made!

The rule of the enforcement of law exists were there is 'due cause' in a civilised country. I am sorry if this man feels that the standards for applying the term 'due cause' are not as he would wish.
02:54 August 17, 2011 by sgt_doom
And that is why Sweden wants to extradite Wikileaks' Julian Assange --- so yet another illegal and amoral extreme rendition can be performed there --- only this time it would be at the behest of their American masters......
10:47 August 17, 2011 by cmbsweden
Rendition's wrong. Human Rights alone dictate some formal, truly legal process before any type of imprisonment.
21:41 August 17, 2011 by Keith #5083
Rendition (law), a legal term meaning "handing over" source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rendition

As I understand it there was a 'legal process´' in Egypt before this man was sentenced and imprisoned. The fact that the 'Egyptian legal process' may leave a lot to be desired compared with western standards is a whole other discussion.

Whilst I am in agreement that western legal standards were 'compromised' by the exceptional circumstances arising from terrorist activities I am still unable to avoid that phrase 'without due cause'.

Perhaps Ayman al-Zawahiri, who seems expert at conjuring up so called 'causes' could enlighten me.
02:01 October 6, 2011 by Chickybee
Political refugees come to Sweden because it is a free and liberal country. A cursory look at the Muslim world shows that the opposite is the case. However, Islamists are slowly and steadily changing the face of Sweden. This man must have been detained for some reason.
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