Migration officers in champagne celebration

Civil servants at the Board of Migration in Solna, in Stockholm, celebrated the successful expulsion of an asylum-seeking family in November last year by gathering in the office during working hours and sharing a bottle of champagne.

The gathering became public after an email which was sent to the staff was acquired by newspaper Dagens Nyheter:

“On Friday we’ll celebrate along with AM2 at 15.00 in their kitchen. I hope that you can all set aside a quarter of an hour before that in our kitchen when we will make good on [migration officer]’s promise of champagne after a certain family left Sweden.”

The email ended: “So you’re all warmly welcome in our kitchen at 14.45 for a Skål.”

The family in question was returned to Russia. According to DN they had a sick child and the matter required police assistance.

Janna Valik, the general director at the board, told Swedish Radio that she was aware of the celebration.

“This is a one off incident with just a few people involved. It is clearly established in the board what our values are,” she said.

“What happened goes completely against those values. It is not acceptable.”

The person who leaked the rousing email to the press is the same migration officer who in November this year revealed a number of suspected cases of negligence of the asylum seeking ‘apathetic children’.

It later became clear that the Board of Migration had not reported suspected cases to the social services, an oversight which led to fierce criticism of the organisation.

A clarification email was sent out to staff the day after the merrymaking. In it, the migration officer wrote that “we are not celebrating the fact that this particular family was sent back”.

According to DN’s source, similar celebrations have taken place on several occasions following deportations.

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