• Sweden edition
 
Military head calls for Afghan staff asylum

Military head calls for Afghan staff asylum

Published: 20 Mar 2013 12:20 GMT+01:00
Updated: 20 Mar 2013 12:20 GMT+01:00

Sweden's top military commander Sverker Göranson on Wednesday called for local interpreters working with Swedish forces in Afghanistan to be granted asylum in Sweden.

"In an environment like this the interpreter is an absolutely vital part of the operation... If we going to be able to work and recruit in the future, in whichever country, interpreters must feel that we take care of them," he said to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) daily.

Speaking just days after returning to active duty following a period of stress-related sick leave, Göranson argued that local staff engaged by the military face the prospect of retribution from Taliban.

Some 24 Afghan interpreters working with the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) applied for asylum in Sweden in the summer 2012 but were told that applications must be made individually and in Sweden.

Migration Minister Tobias Billström at the time ruled out that "employees of the Swedish state would be given preferential treatment" and that the cases would be considered according to the standard criteria.

Just prior to his period off sick, Göranson courted controversy after a statement claiming that Sweden could only defend itself for one week if it came under direct attack.

The statement led to a security probe by the Swedish Security Services into whether Göranson's statement constituted a breach of national security.

His assessment has however since been supported by an academic research report from the Royal Academy of War Sciences (Kungliga Krigsvetenskapsakademin) and sparked a debate about defence funding.

The defence forces maintain that a further 4 billion kronor ($620 million) is required to keep the Swedish military ticking along, while the government is seeking to cut the defence budget by 500 million kronor.

The Commander-in-Chief returns from his visit to Afghanistan on Wednesday and is due to meet with defence minister Karin Enström in Skövde in western Sweden.

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson

Follow Peter on Twitter here.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

13:29 March 20, 2013 by riose
It makes a lot of sense to me.
13:33 March 20, 2013 by liondens
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
14:12 March 20, 2013 by Children Of Adam
It is very good, we should always support those who supported us.

It is very simple logic, you help me, i help you.
15:47 March 20, 2013 by Frobobbles
This tells a lot about in what state Sweden plans to leave Afghanistan in.
17:58 March 20, 2013 by intrepidfox
@liondens

I agree, what the f..k is Sweden doing in Afganistan but these people are now at risk through helping the military. They should get asylum.
18:05 March 20, 2013 by muscle
Wow, a military commander saying this. My level of respect for this country has further increased now.

None of you guys, commenting here have been in any situation that can be classified as a war zone. The interpreters and their close family members, regardless of how many they are, should be taken out of Afghanistan. I doubt that their family members would be a lot as many of the interpreters come from damaged families (no one loves to risk endangering their life when they know soon the third parties will leave the country in future and they will be left to deal with the enemy). You can bring these interpreters and train them for different purposes. Given them job in swedish armed forces. Take them for future peace or war missions. There is always a need for reserve force.
18:24 March 20, 2013 by Trenatos
I agree.

If someone's willing to put themselves at risk to help us, they have proven their intermediate loyalty and willingness, and should get immediate consideration with emphasis from the Armed Forces.

Take them to Sweden and further their knowledge and training, make them even more valuable and anchor their position.
19:13 March 20, 2013 by liondens
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
20:09 March 20, 2013 by Rishonim
@liondens, ROFLMSAO....Your comment reminds me of the movie The Last Samurai when the newly formed army with weapons and all, was about to confront the Samurais and how quickly they drop their rifles and started running...Yet, we have to agree that the right thing to do is to bring them here and offer them all the assistance necessary.
15:38 March 22, 2013 by muscle
@liondens get your facts corrected please and try following the news of the changed role of swedish armed forces from 2008 and onwards!
Today's headlines
Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling. READ () »

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
A Swedish Easter witch holding daffodils. File photo: TT

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter

In India, I'd notice Easter only from the traffic jam outside the churches, but here witches, egg hunts, and feathers mark the Christian holiday. The Local's Deepti Vashisht brings you the various shades of Swedish Easter. READ () »

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Chemtrails?: Shutterstock.

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe

A Swedish MP who launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails tells The Local why he thinks Swedes deserve the truth, even if it may leave some conspiracy theorists unsatisfied. READ () »

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid
Fredrik Reinfeldt answers the constitutional affairs committee's questions. Photo: TT

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid

Sweden's prime minister on Thursday said Vattenfall itself, not its owners the Swedish state, had responsibility for the loss-making Nuon deal. READ () »

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer
Photo: TT

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer

A Swedish lawyer says the Swedish military may have broken the law when it raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp. READ () »

Good weather could blight Easter traffic
Easter traffic two years ago on the E4 motorway. File: Jessica Gow/TT

Good weather could blight Easter traffic

Traffic experts have cautioned Swedes heading to the countryside for what should be a sunny Easter, warning that the most serious accidents often take place when the weather is clement. READ () »

Saab offers Gripen lease to Malaysia
Jas Gripen jets in flight. File photo: TT

Saab offers Gripen lease to Malaysia

Swedish defence giant Saab has offered to rent out fighter jets to Malaysia. READ () »

What's On in Sweden

What's On in Sweden

Check out what's happening with The Local's guide to the main attractions and events in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö - in association with DoToday. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Advertisement:
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

748
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com