Asylum seekers in Kiruna suicide threat

A couple from Turkey seeking asylum in Sweden threatened to set themselves on fire in the Board of Migration's offices in Kiruna on Monday.

After hours of negotiations the pair eventually left the building at around 10pm.

“It was completely undramatic. They came out calmly and have now been taken to a doctor,” said Kiruna police spokesman Lage Wuotilainen.

The couple were said to be in their thirties. Their two children, a boy and a girl, were released just before 6pm after drawn-out negotiations with officers.

The incident began at just before 11am on Monday, when police were informed that the man had poured gasoline over himself and was prepared to set himself on fire.

According to the migration board’s press office in Norrköping the family had had their application for a residence permit rejected.

“I don’t know what kind of permit they had applied for, just that it is a man with a wife and two children,” said Louise Utter at the Board of Migration press office.

Police said that only the man had poured petrol over himself, but his wife remained with him throughout. The police’s first step was to secure the safety of the children.

“We got the parents to let the children go. They will undergo a medical examination and then be transferred to social services,” said Wuotilainen.

He said that he did not know how old the children were but described them as ‘small’.

The building, which the Board of Migration shares with the tax board and the police, was evacuated earlier in the day.