“Nothing unethical” about deportation celebrations

A report into the champagne and cake celebrations which followed the expulsions of certain asylum seekers at the Board of Migration has concluded that there was nothing unethical about the festivities.

Dagens Nyheter revealed in December that staff at the Solna office gathered for a champagne celebration after a family was sent back to Russia. It later emerged that migration officials in Kristianstad similarly rejoiced over the deportation of a single mother and her three children.

The incidents caused outrage but the internal report, which was released on Wednesday morning, was less critical.

“It is clear that the emails [inviting colleagues to the celebration drinks] were not sent to express satisfaction that any foreigner was forced to leave Sweden,” said the report.

In the invitation to the employees, the Kristianstad manager wrote: “Yesterday [three migration officers] processed our nightmare woman in [town]. We will celebrate with cake and at the same time wish her and her kids all the best in their homeland!”

However, the report’s authors, director general Lars-Gunnar Lundh and legal director Henrik Winman, stated that while the formulation of the email was not acceptable, “nothing emerged in the enquiry to suggest that there were failings in the attitudes and ethics of staff in these offices”.

No further measures were deemed necessary, but the report contained a number of proposals.

There should be more supervision of staff at the Board of Migration, and more analysis of the service offered to applicants. In addition, the board should deepen its relationships with voluntary organisations.

The report emphasised the need for clarity, both of the role of the board itself and of the responsibilities of individual officers.

“Every member of staff must know his duties and what kind of attitude those duties demand,” wrote Lundh and Winman.

They called for more resources from the government to help implement the proposals.

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