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Beslan seige: survivor recently deported from Sweden

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12:15 CEST+02:00
The school hostage tragedy in Beslan, Russia, has touched Sweden in its own small way: a six-year-old boy who survived the siege was expelled with his family from Sweden in June of this year.

A friend of the family living here in Sweden told daily Svenska Dagbladet that the family was expelled because the situation in the region was stable. In reality, he says, they landed in hell.

Amiran Dougyev, along with his Chechen-born parents, had lived in Ingushetia in the northern Caucasus before they fled to Sweden. Ingushetia nestles alongside Chechnya and is home to ethnic tensions similar to those that plague its neighbour.

The family was bounced from one refugee centre to the next as they waited for their asylum application to be processed. In the end, they were sent back to Russia, where they moved into a building opposite the now infamous School Number One in Beslan.

Amiran was among the children who arrived there for his first day of school last Wednesday; his mother was running late and she did not arrive until after the hostage crisis was underway, leaving him to endure the ordeal on his own.

Amiran's father was quoted as saying that the boy was depressed after the family was expelled from Sweden and he now doesn't dare think about the future. The father said he wonders how the boy will ever be able to go back to school.

The family has now fled Beslan, fearing reprisals by Christian Ossetians against Muslims. Amarin's father is a Muslim and his mother a Christian — one reason they had originally sought asylum in Sweden.

The Swedish Migration Board, Migrationsverket, says that acts of terrorism that are not linked to a persecution situation do not affect asylum decisions in this country, adding that while they regret the event took place, it will not affect decision-making for now or lead to any change in their original decision concerning the family.

Judi Lembke

If you are wondering how to explain the tragedy to your children or how to answer their questions, Save the Children has excellent advice. In addition, if your children speak Swedish, SVT's children's program Lilla Aktuellt, will be devoting Thursday's program to Beslan. They will not show any graphic footage, but will be discussing it and will include a call-in segment with a child psychologist.

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