Amnesty criticizes Baghdad deportation

An Iraqi citizen has been deported to Baghdad despite Sweden's policy of not sending people to the Middle Eastern country's most troubled regions. The move runs counter to UN guidelines and has led to criticism from Amnesty International.

Amnesty’s legal expert Madelaine Seidlitz condemns the forced deportation, singling out the Migration Board for particular criticism.

“The board is responsible for judging the risks inherent in a deportation order,” she told Dagens Nyheter.

The newspaper reports that the 31-year-old Iraqi took a flight from Gothenburg to Amman in Jordan in mid-April. He was accompanied by police, doctors and prison service staff.

On arrival in Jordan, police ensured that the man was given money and placed on a passenger plane to Baghdad.

The man originates from an area bordering on the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. But according to Dagens Nyheter, the Kurdish-led government in the region has refused to accept citizens deported from other countries.

“This was a way of getting around that. When there are orders to send 1,500 Iraqis back to northern Iraq, we have to find another solution,” police commissioner LarsSkoglund told the newspaper.

According to police coordinator Bengt Ramäng, the Migration Board did not specify an area in Iraq to which the man should be sent.

But Joakim Hugosson from the Migration Board’s legal department rejects this explanation.

“The Aliens Act states that it is up to the police to contact the Migration Board for further instructions if any uncertainty arises,” he said.

Migration Minister Tobias Billstrom’s told Dagens Nyheter, via his press secretary, that issues of this nature are to be resolved by the Migration Board and the migration courts.

“The government is not supposed to take a stance,” he said.