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Two weeks reprieve for 90-year-old deportee

Two weeks reprieve for 90-year-old deportee

Published: 03 Oct 2011 13:12 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Oct 2011 13:12 GMT+02:00

90-year-old Ganna Chyzhevska, suffering from dementia and heart disease, but scheduled to be deported to Ukraine on Monday, has been given a short reprieve, allowing her family and supporters to rally behind her.

”I am just waiting now to have concrete confirmation that they have rescheduled her flight in two weeks' time,” granddaughter Anna Otto told The Local on Monday.

When Ganna Chyzhevska’s husband died of cancer eight years ago, her daughter and granddaughter, resident in Sweden since 1995 and Swedish citizens, applied for residency on her behalf based on family connections.

Her application has been denied seven times by the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket), despite Chyzhevska being of poor health and her family in Sweden wanting to care for her.

The case, which has kicked up a storm in Swedish media and on the internet, recently caught the attention of Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) MP Barbro Westerholm, a staunch supporter of the rights of elderly.

”It is my firm belief that no one should have to fear growing old in Sweden and that there should be a way for the authorities to make exceptions for distressing circumstances such as these," Westerholm told The Local.

"The Migration Board can only act by current legislation. It is up to those of us who work with this legislation to identify when its necessary to amend laws.”

According to current Swedish law, a family member needs to be living with their adult children and be financially dependent on them before the residency permit is granted based on family connections.

“Before 1997 we were allowed to grant residency to elderly parents whose adult children were living in Sweden, but then the law was changed,” Mikael Ribbenvik, legal expert at the Migration Board, told The Local in September.

As this was not the case with Chyzhevska, her application was denied.

Her doctor, Claes von Segebaden, wrote to the Migration Board that the chances of the elderly woman being able to manage on her own in Kiev are slim.

“The patient shows significant signs of dementia,” he wrote.

Von Segebaden has previously concluded that Chyzhevska shows clear signs of an Alzheimer’s type of illness, as well as ischemic heart syndrome and strongly diminished eyesight as the result of a cataract operation.

But to be allowed to stay the applicant has to prove that the country does not have capability to offer the care needed, according to Ribbenvik.

“And we are not allowed to take into consideration whether the patient will be able to afford the treatment in their country or not,” he said.

The decision to deport Chyzhevska was not changed and her deportation date was set for Monday, October 3rd.

But according to granddaughter Anna Otto, the family has since received massive support from people who have heard of their case through the media.

After a daily newspaper did a web-tv report on the family, where Otto's 90-year-old grandmother was seen crying, a storm kicked up on the internet.

”We have had a lot of response since people found out about the case. My grandmother has received a great deal of support in social media,” said Otto.

Otto said that since they were given the decision three weeks ago, she has been calling the officers at the Migration Board regularly, trying to get them to reschedule the flight by two weeks.

This, she was hoping, would give her time to find a new way of keeping her grandmother in the country.

”I called them so many times to ask for two more weeks, but they always said no. And then on Friday they called me and said they could give us an extra week and then they called again and said they'd give us two,” Otto said.

Otto is certain that it is the media attention that has made the Migration Board change their minds about the nonagenarian Chyzhevska's deportation date.

She is hoping that Westerholm's involvement may make them able to change their mind altogether.

Since getting wind of Chyzhevska's plight, Westerholm has heard of other, similar cases.

”My only concern is that these changes take time. My hope is that Chyzhevska's case is postponed while the matter is being settled in Europe. But I have spoken to my ministers and I believe they are positive to me continuing to work on this matter,” she said.

In the mean time, Anna Otto's efforts to keep her grandmother in Sweden continue.

She is hoping that a new medical certificate from Chyzhevskas's physician might also help her keep her ailing grandmother with her.

”This time it completely follows all the guidelines for medical notes set up by the Migration Board, so maybe that will finally make them see sense,” Otto told The Local.

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:58 October 3, 2011 by jacquelinee
Wow! A whole 2 weeks! Is anyone in the Swedish Migrationsverket capable of independant thought????

"Her application has been denied seven times by the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket), despite Chyzhevska being of poor health and her family in Sweden wanting to care for her.

The case, which has kicked up a storm in Swedish media and on the internet, recently caught the attention of Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) MP Barbro Westerholm, a staunch supporter of the rights of elderly. "

I applaud BARBRO WESTERHOLM!!! Finally! Someone who actually has the best interests of the elderly in their minds. Too bad they can't put that waste of space Mariia Larsson (Minister to the elderly hahahahah!) in the "SociallyRestin" on a slow boat to the North Pole and appoint Westerholm instead. Maybe then, the elderly who have faithfully paid their taxes their whole life woth the belief that their country would care for them when they become aged may actually have a chance for the life in their old age that their government led them to believe in.
14:02 October 3, 2011 by AnonCoward
Meanwhile, thousands of Somalis are welcomed every year. Congrats on you immigration policy, Sweden!
14:05 October 3, 2011 by Migga
Meanwhile, thousands of immigrant robbers, rapists and murderers aren`t thrown out. But this lady is. Congratulations political correct politicians.
18:29 October 3, 2011 by philster61
Ahhh. Sweden!!! Land of tolerance, peace, care, understanding, humanism, equality,intelligence........
21:19 October 3, 2011 by Nemesis
Her family wants to look after her, bath her, feed her, house her, etc. She is no cost to the state of a family of extremely hard workers, who are an example to us all, due to there hard work ethic.

The Swedish state claims to be compassionate at every international level. That is clearly lies by the Swedish State and Government at every level.

If she is not given compassionate leave to die under the care of her family, then Sweden might as well rename itself the "Nationalist Socialist State of Sweden" and declare itself Compassion and Humanity free.

Sending this woman home is wrong on every count a human being can make, Even a racist bigot (non-Swede who happens to be racist) would hang his head in shame at this action. I assume an everyday Swede will find this racist action not only acceptable, but an example to be repeated.

Ukrainians will remember these blatantly racist actions by the Swedish in the name of all Sweddes, as will nationals of other countries. This is not over by a long shot.
22:20 October 3, 2011 by Nilspet
My only comment is that this legal(!?) action is sick! It is so against a decent commonsense. Australian government once intervened the case in which a 90 plus-year-old Chinese woman with poor health was about to be deported to China...the result was she got to stay. This is called "compassion".

and do not forget that Thailand just welcomed a 96-year-old Swedish woman to be its resident. ...
22:30 October 3, 2011 by 0007
this bad......me dont like....why we should(tax payers) pay for her care........no good.....no matter what the family say she will get sick and who is going to pay for her medicals bills...us the tax payers...we let one in then what next....no good..
23:43 October 3, 2011 by Beavis
The media should be there to cover everything if they forcivly try to remove a 90 year old woman, and to the gobsite who commented above, her family are paying the bills, hopefully someone deports yo when your 90 away from your friends and family
00:47 October 4, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ migga

Not only immigrants rape, rob and murder. Shall we throw out the Swedish offenders as well? The British use to ship criminals off to Australia in the old days. Maybe the offenders, irregardless if they are immigrant offenders or the good ole homegrown Swedish kind should be put on a boat and sent to the north pole.

This may come as a huge shock to you, but I also live in an area that is densly populated with immigrant people as well as Swedes. A dear friend of mine who is a single, career woman lives in my neighbourhood as well. She walks to work and back all week. She has been twice encircled and harassed by men on her way home from her job, once had a man approach her and grab her groin and was cornered and sexually propositioned in her laundry facility. In all 3 instances, the men were ethnic Swedes. And our little neighbourhood grocer who is Lebanese and works 7 days a week from 7 am till 9 pm to make an honest living was robbed by Swedish youths.

Immigrants do not own the rights to criminal offences. There are criminals that were born and bred ethnic Swedes too. Lets ship them out along with the rest of the offenders. Or?
01:36 October 4, 2011 by rumcajs
What the hell is the reason why she can't stay???... I think she's got bether seasons to come to Sweden than any of us commenting here. Is it that the only important thing is that you feed the corporations and bankers? I still try not to believe it's so bad, but it looks like all the conspirationists say. Are they gonna send me back to south america when I get old even if my son wanna take care of me? Ahhh, but it's ok... I'll say some1 wanna kill me and my life's in danger so they'll let me in again.
12:01 October 4, 2011 by soultraveler3
Well said jacquelinee.

Scumbags come in every size, shape, sex and color.

I've had 4 unpleasant instances with males since moving to Sweden, two of them were Swedes and two of them were immigrants. Ethnic background plays no role in people being respectable and decent or not.

It's unfortunate that every time any issue with crime or immigration comes up on these forums that extremists from both sides feel the need to come out. One side saying all the problems would be gone if we shipped all the immigrants out (except for them of course.) The other side saying that anyone who makes any negative remarks about how Sweden is handling immigration or criminals must be racists. It's silly and takes away from the conversation / debate.

It's sad that so many people are granted permanent residence here every year, but that this poor old woman wasn't given residence a long time ago. Hopefully they'll figure out something within the next couple weeks. Her family will take care of her, she won't be a burden on society in any way, let her stay.
21:41 October 4, 2011 by jostein
Rulebreaking is anathema to me. Especially when the Journalistparty mobalizes to commit another atrocity against sweden by means of sentimentality. Sentimentality should be an advisor, not a ruler. Justice is blind for a reason.

However, me, personally, i do not feel threatened by immigration by people beyond fertile age. And I believe our rulers hate our people and wants to destroy us. So, another mouth to feed, another rule broken, I guess it is for the best. The sooner they lay on the straw that breakes the camels back, the better.
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