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'Extraditing dual-citizen Swedes should be easier'

'Extraditing dual-citizen Swedes should be easier'

Published: 15 Nov 2011 08:33 GMT+01:00
Updated: 15 Nov 2011 08:33 GMT+01:00

It should be easier for Swedish citizens who are also citizens of other countries to be extradited to states outside the European Union, a government inquiry charged with reviewing Sweden's extradition law has concluded.

Currently, Swedish citizens can't be extradited to states outside the EU.

The inquiry's findings, submitted to the government on Tuesday, propose two overarching changes to Sweden's current extradition law, which dates back to 1957.

One change proposed by the inquiry, which was led by judge and United Nations Human Rights Committee representative Krister Thelin, is to soften the current prohibition against extraditing people who hold Swedish citizenship.

“The proposal, in the eyes of the inquiry, is better suited to the increased internationalization and to, among other things, the fact that in our country there are a large number of citizens, at least a half million by many estimates, who have also chosen to be citizens in another country or have strong ties there,” Thelin, wrote in an opinion article published in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

Specifically, the inquiry wants to make it easier to extradite Swedish citizens to states outside the EU if they are citizens of another country, have lived in the requesting country at least five years, or if the crime they are accused of committing is serious enough that it would carry a sentence of at least four years in prison if if were committed in Sweden.

The second major change put forward by the inquiry is move responsibility for extradition decisions to regular courts and away from the government and the Supreme Court.

Currently, extradition requests are first reviewed by the Supreme Court. If the court rejects the request, the government must abide by the ruling.

However, if the Supreme Court approves the request, the government nevertheless has the discretion to ignore the court's findings due to foreign and security policy considerations.

According to the proposed changes, however, the government would instead be able to voice any foreign and security policy concerns associated with an extradition request though prosecutors handling the case.

“The current discretionary political emphasis in the decision process would be replaced by a clear legal hearing,” wrote Thelin.

According to Thelin, Sweden receives at the most 20 extradition requests per year, most often coming from European countries outside the EU, as well as Turkey, Russia and other states in the former Soviet Union.

Extradition from Sweden, unlike many other countries, isn't dependent on the existence of an extradition agreement between Sweden and the requesting country, although such bilateral agreements can make the process easier.

Currently, Sweden has extradition treaties with Australia, Canada, and the United States.

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

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Your comments about this article

09:26 November 15, 2011 by krow
Nonsence, why give them citizenship at the first place if the government cannot take repsonsibilities of them? Secondly, the political climate in thos countries outside EU we all know are very corrupt and dont like their own citizens talking bad about them. It takes men with guts and also men who knows they can be protected by Sweden against these tyrants to bring sense to equity and development. This to e is just the other side of Sweden trying to run away from responsibility or do we say it is the typical fear of the government not to contest for its own citizens. Case study is the man held by Eritea. What has Sweden done to make the journalist to be released?
10:26 November 15, 2011 by Grokh
@krow what about war criminals, drug lords, mafia, slavers etc hundreds of people that Sweden take and later find out they weren't the angel seeking refuge but a criminal trying to get away.

any dual citizen who commits a crime in Sweden should be booted off the country to serve time in his own country , maybe IF they came back they'll be more grateful and not do stupid crimes next time.

i been in Sweden for almost 2 years and i wish their justice system to be more harsh in so many things. One can treat criminals like criminals and still be a free democratic country.

Its when criminals have more rights than citizens and are treated in special ways and get light penalty for horrible crimes that it starts to annoy me.

And any smart immigrant knows how hard it is to adapt to another country specially when dumb immigrants abuse the hospitality and give immigrants a bad name.

so however Sweden changes the law i sure hope it screws the hell out of criminals who were too dumb to take advantage of the opportunity of a new life while giving a bad name to everyone else.
11:47 November 15, 2011 by karex
@grokh, I agree. It is very convenient for someone to obtain citizenship just so they can go murder people somewhere else and get away with it by running back to Sweden. The country is already turning into a haven for criminals.
12:49 November 15, 2011 by Kublai
This new law is a result of requests from the new "democratic" regimes in the Middle East so Iraq can have iraqi christians extradited and Egypt can have coptics extradited and whatever other minorities that has caused grievances to the Muslim Brotherhood.
14:02 November 15, 2011 by Twiceshy
Again Sweden break human rights. Swedes with one or 2 citizenship and immigrants who are in Sweden should be protected from extradition because of persecution and middle age prisons in many countries in this world. In Saudi Arabia they judge people without lawyer and translator, they just give you 10 years prison and that's all. Living conditions in prisons are horrible, even in east European countries. I know one Kurd who got political asylum and Switzerland didn't deport him to Turkey even he was sentenced for killing cop in Turkey. Turkey didn't want to guarantee that he will not be beaten and tortured and killed in Turkish prison. Sweden should demand court papers about criminal case and make court process in Sweden instead to make extradition to some countries like Saudi Arabia. If they have really proof that someone is guilty, why they would not accept it? But problem are Swedish politicians and their racism, they gave citizenship to someone but they don't want to accept that person as citizen. As I know, USA protect their citizens at any price, why Sweden don't want to do it in the case of dual citizenship? Because of racism. In Denmark, second generation of immigrants are still called immigrants even they are born in Denmark, grow up in DK and finished school, but they are not accepted like domestic citizens than they are called immigrants. As I see, it is the same in Sweden.

@karex, if swedes with one citizenship can kill someone somewhere else and get away with it by running back to Sweden, why people with dual citizenship should not do the same? Your making difference is racism. For you obviously, swedes have right to escape back to Sweden after some crime but people with 2 citizenship should be deported.

@Grokh, better adapt yourself between normal people than between fascists who blame whole group for deeds of individuals. You jump and sit as fascists expect from you, but even if you do it, they will still hate you. I don't care what fascists in my country think about me, so, why I would care what fascists in Sweden think about me? When Swiss politician Blocher said that all Albanians are criminals, he was charged at court by human right organization. I am sure he was sentenced for racist statement.

So, message for big patriots: respect the law of your country and there is the law against racism. So, don't be racists.

Problem is that fascist government can make fascist law, like this fascist law about extradition.
19:20 November 15, 2011 by calebian22
Sweden gives out citizenship way to easily. This is a step in the correct direction. Sweden should not protect criminals from other countries. This is not racist., it is saving tax resources for those who deserve it.
20:38 November 15, 2011 by Lavaux
Consider this case:

A married Iranian woman immigrates to Sweden with her two children on the basis of a family relationship - her parents - who are Swedish citizens by naturalization. She does so against the wishes of her husband, who is a powerful man in Iran.

Husband brings a criminal complaint against wife in a Sharia court in Iran, hotted up with false sexual allegations. The Sharia court tries wife in absentia and finds her guilty of adultery and unlawful abandonment, sentencing her to death by stoning, as is required under Sharia law.

Knowing that the required sentence violates Swedish public policy and would bar extradition, the Sharia court orders that it be kept confidential and only enforced once wife is successfully extradited to Iran. In addition, the Sharia court publishes a sham sentence pursuant to the Islamic doctrine of Taqiyya. The sham sentence orders wife to undertake mandatory marital counseling pending lawful divorce proceedings. The Sharia court then applies for wife's extradition to serve her sentence.

Since the sham sentence does not violate Swedish public policy, the Swedish government honors the extradition application. Wife is extradited. Husband rushes to the nearest Imam and performs the divorce ceremony, requesting and receiving sole custody of his two children. Husband notifies the relevant authorities of the divorce.

Within the hour of her arrival in Iran, wife is stoned to death. Although wife's body is not yet cold, husband applies to the relevant court to request the recognition and enforcement in Sweden of the custody provisions of his divorce. The Swedish government honors the application, ordering that the two children be placed in their father's sole custody. Mission accomplished.

Should Sweden amend its extradition law with respect to countries where Sharia law prevails?
14:00 November 18, 2011 by tigger007
that was a good and informative comment Lavaux!
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