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Pastor 'tortured' in Congo after Sweden deportation

Pastor 'tortured' in Congo after Sweden deportation

Published: 29 Feb 2012 15:10 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Feb 2012 15:10 GMT+01:00

A Congolese pastor who was deported from Sweden last week after losing a long-running fight for asylum was reportedly beaten upon returning to his home country, just as his Swedish supporters had feared.

"I have been severely tortured and beaten, and there are pictures of damage that will show you the scars that will remain," pastor Jean Kabuidibuidi wrote in an email to a Swedish refugee activist.

Kabuidibuidi, 41, is an outspoken critic of the regime in the Democratic Republic of Congo and came to Sweden in 2003 to seek political asylum.

However, the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) denied his request, ruling that Kabuidibuidi's life would not be at risk should he return to Congo.

After being held for the past four months at an immigrant detention centre outside of Stockholm and managing to avoid deportation on three separate occasions, Kabuidibuidi was whisked away by police and deported in secrecy on the night of Friday, February 24th.

The pastor's representative in Sweden, Claes Strömvall, was not even told of the move, and called the deportation “deplorable”.

"The police wouldn't give me any information yesterday and cited security concerns," Strömvall said in a statement on Friday.

At first, Kabuidibuidi's supporters weren't even sure he had been deported, only receiving confirmation the following day from a cryptic SMS sent by the pastor to a supporter in Sweden.

“He is such a strong critic of the Congolese regime, and Congo is a dictatorship of divine grace. Everyone knows how they treat people there except the Swedish Migration Board,” Strömvall told Expressen newspaper.

“We have argued that he could be imprisoned, tortured or executed. Now all of these have been done except the execution.”

Kabuidibuidi was allegedly taken away upon arrival, before being beaten and then set free. He is now believed to be recovering in hospital.

“I have been tortured. They took all my money and my clothes. I am damaged and have pain all over my body. Now I am in hospital,” he wrote in a text message to Expressen.

According to the Migration Board’s rules, asylum seekers are usually allowed to stay in Sweden if there is a risk of them being tortured.

However, the agency concluded that, based on available information, there was little chance that Kabuidibuidi would be tortured when he returned to Congo, according to Expressen.

But the pastor's supporters in Sweden continue to contest the decision, especially in light of Kabuidibuidi's claims that he has been tortured.

"The pictures of the injured Pastor Jean show, in all probability, he has been subjected to torture and that the Migration Board has been wrong in their contention that they are no risks for Jean to be deported to the Congo," Maria Furusand, a pastor of Elimkyrkan in Stockholm, said in a statement.

"The Swedish government has put Jean’s life at risk. Now, the rules must be revised so that no more people will be deported from Sweden to be tortured."

The Migration Board, meanwhile, stands by its decision.

"Our decision is based on the information we had access to," spokesperson Johan Rahm told Expressen.

Rahm also emphasized that it remains unclear whether or not Kabuidibuidi was actually tortured.

"I don't think you can draw that conclusion. The information that has come to light is unconfirmed," he said.

The Local/og (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:38 February 29, 2012 by jonathanjames61
"Our decision is based on the information we had access to," spokesperson Johan Rahm told Expressen.,,,,,yes the information from the British inteligence.I wonder what the swedish embassy abroad is for,we all know brits are manupulators in reporting true situation on the ground,you think they will report bad about Congo or Nigeria where the blood diamond and the blood oil comes from,the migration Office better thinks twice,it cost them notting to have a man on ground in tihis countires,most do hold the Swedish passport,if only they will not be abandoned like the Eriteran man.
17:52 February 29, 2012 by suprkynu
He has lucky not to be killed.
18:33 February 29, 2012 by nar klockan klamtar
Home sweet home.
18:56 February 29, 2012 by occassional
His life is not at risk. He was only beaten. Some will say.
19:35 February 29, 2012 by elibobo71176
man am sorry,, thsi is life,,But black should know europe is not a save place for black because they never want forigner to leave with them and all problem in the world come from europe by dictate to other country and nominate but Africa never realise ,, not i am pity for libya ,,and some other country,,,,with all what God bless africa ,, europe came and took it with out return ,, still on still and Africa leader never realise ,, look at useless man from Nigeria steal money and took it to Uk ,, left his people in problem and suffer,,,, infact i don't know how long it will take africa to realise
19:44 February 29, 2012 by Challie70
Ok what about the refugees we bring in that do harm to swdish people. Rape, murder etc. They have started to deport them now, do you think their countries care so much about the 14 year old who was raped and beaten? Or how about the woman that was at a party and raped repeatedly in a back bedroom by a gang of men? These were refuges seeking asylum!
19:54 February 29, 2012 by zooeden
At least he is a pastor!!!

we send back educated people just for fun and we import animals from the mountains and deserts...
20:16 February 29, 2012 by lapua338
Oh well, what a shame.

Not our problem!
21:45 February 29, 2012 by stevo1
sounds like he knowingly bagged out his country and was fully aware of the consequences. Maybe this serves as a lesson for anyone trying to flee such a regime, shut the hell up until you have your residency, then you can have your say when you are safe. this guy isn't very bright.
22:11 February 29, 2012 by Chickybee
Why oh why is it OK for Muslims from the Middle East to stream into Sweden when there are Christian refugees like this man who is genuine?

This is anti-Christian descrimination and YES IT DOES MATTER - I am sick of seeing Islam in the press and TV every day!!!!
22:53 February 29, 2012 by TheWatchman
@Chickybee

^ a wise woman. He was just a pastor, and he got shipped back, when Muslim extremists are given a home in Sweden.
23:11 February 29, 2012 by RobinHood
Such is life in Congo. When brave men and women oppose a vicious African dictatorship posing as a democracy, they get kicked around a bit - or much worse. Welcome home Mr Kabuidibuidi. Good luck fighting the good fight. You will do better work home in Congo than in Sweden. All dictatorships fall in the end, i hope you are still around to see it.
00:02 March 1, 2012 by Challie70
I am also curious what he was tortured with? A feather? A shitz zu?
03:42 March 1, 2012 by Greysuede
September '77

Port Elizabeth weather fine

It was business as usual

In police room 619

Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko

Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko

Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja Mr Kabuidibuidi

The man is dead

And the eyes of the world are

watching now

watching now ...
07:46 March 1, 2012 by Marc the Texan
Why did he have to go all the way to Sweden? Why not go to a country closer to home like Rwanda? Rwanda is a relatively safe stable and open country nowadays. Plenty of countries closer to home he could have had asylum in. They would match his culture and lifestyle far better than Sweden. Why doesn't Sweden spend it's asylum budget on matching asylum seekers to lower cost countries that have compatible lifestyles with those asylum seekers? Sweden is completely alien to most of these asylum seekers.
08:24 March 1, 2012 by StockholmSam
Is it just me or does that picture look suspicious? The "victim" appears to be sitting on a counter in a bathroom. Note the clothes hanging on the shower door behind the "doctor". Note the push-pump soap that looks like it came from ICA. Note the sloppy application of the bandages and the classic Bugs Bunny cartoon X-bandage on his head. Note the purple bed sheet he is sitting on. Now I have never been to a hospital in Congo, but this looks very odd to me.
10:02 March 1, 2012 by Mark737408
Not swedens problem, its his, fck em .
13:31 March 1, 2012 by nar klockan klamtar
What is any of this to do with Sweden???
00:29 March 3, 2012 by Jeff10
Well, technically, the Swedish government was prescient, because, while the pastor did endure a beating and perhaps a bit of torture, he's still alive. So, the Swedish correctly surmised that his life wasn't in danger.

This prescience should be applied to all muslimes seeking asylum in Sweden.
13:16 March 3, 2012 by LawStudent
Does someone know where I can find his case online?
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