Bodström asylum client murdered in Pakistan

A man who was denied asylum in Sweden and sent back to Pakistan was murdered last week, it has been reported. Shabbir Rizvi, who was represented in his application for political asylum by the current justice minister, Thomas Bodström, was shot on a street in Karachi.

“He was shot because he was active in the Mohaijr Quami Movement (MQM),” said Rizvi’s friend Sohail Akhter to the Metro newspaper.

Akhter found out about the killing through the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, which wrote that an MQM activist had been murdered by unknown gunmen.

Thomas Bodström refuses to talk about cases he dealt with before he became justice minister. But in a submission on November 12th 1997 to Invandrarverket, the agency which became the Swedish Board of Migration, Bodström wrote that “all things considered, it can be stated that Rizvi risks persecution because of his political activity if he is forced to return to Pakistan”.

The Swedish Board of Migration admitted to Metro that it had made a mistake if the man was killed because of his political beliefs.

“You could say that we have made an incorrect judgement since we should be sure that those who are deported do not risk being exposed to torture, the death penalty or any other violations,” said the board’s press officer, Marie Andersson.

TT/The Local