UN questions Sweden on Eritrea deportation

The United Nations (UN) has asked for an explanation from Sweden over the attempted deportation of a 23-year-old Eritrean.

The UN’s refugee unit, the UNHCR, has sent a fax to Sweden demanding an explanation for why the man is being held in custody and questions whether human rights conventions are being respected.

The 23-year-old Eritrean man has been held in custody for over a month pending a new deportation.

The UNHCR has demanded an explanation of the legal grounds for holding the man in custody and how the situation is compatible with human rights legislation, writes Dagens Nyheter (DN).

The Swedish foreign ministry (UD) and the migration board (Migrationsverket) are preparing a reply to the fax, according to migration minister Tobias Billström’s press spokesperson, Markus Friberg.

“We are counting on that the reply will be dispatched in the coming week,” Friberg said.

Police have tried to deport the man on two occasions. First he was flown to Eritrea on a specially chartered plane but was not allowed into his home country. On the second occasion the pilot of the plane refused to accept him on board due to his rowdy behaviour.

According to the UN the man is at risk of reprisals if he were to return to Eritrea due to his political activity while living in Sweden, DN reports.

Swedish police are expected to make a new attempt at deporting the man within a couple of weeks as Eritrean authorities have now issued the man with a temporary passport.

The treatment of the Eritrean man has been broadly criticized by many and his counsel, Johan Hedberg had this to say to DN:

“There is nothing that regulates this situation. The police don’t need to even inform me of when he is to be deported.”