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Sweden expels foreign official: report

Published: 14 Feb 2012 15:51 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Feb 2012 15:51 GMT+01:00

The Swedish government said Tuesday it had expelled a foreign diplomat, amid reports the person in question was a high level official at the Rwandan embassy in Stockholm.

"We can confirm that we have expelled a diplomat," foreign ministry spokesman Theo Zetterman told AFP, refusing to provide any details on the identity or nationality of the diplomat or the reasons for the expulsion.

A weekend report by the Rwanda News Agency said Evodo Mudaheranwa, the second in command at the Rwandan embassy in Stockholm, had last Wednesday been given 48 hours to leave over "activities incompatible with his diplomatic

status".

The Rwandan embassy refused to comment, referring questions to the foreign ministry in Kigali, which could not immediately be reached for confirmation.

The Rwandan agency report, which cited unnamed observers, said his expulsion may be linked to the disappearance last month of Rwandan journalist Jean Bosco Gasasira with the Umuvugizi newspaper, who had found asylum in Sweden.

When contacted by AFP, Swedish police could not confirm the journalist's disappearance or say if a probe had been launched, and the foreign ministry would not say if any diplomatic steps had been taken in connection with the reported disappearance.

Gasasira's editor Amiel Nkuliza, also based in Sweden, told AFP he had not managed to contact the journalist since January 13 and that he had asked Reporters Without Borders to pressure the Swedish government about the case.

Nkuliza also said that while at the embassy, Mudaheranwa had systematically harassed him, Gasasira and other Rwandans critical of the government in Kigali.

"I think that is the reason for his deportation," he said.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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