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Israeli guards accuse Swedes of terror ties

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06:52 CEST+02:00
Members of a delegation from Sweden's Migration Board (Migrationsverket) were interrogated for hours by Israeli border police after being accused of collaborating with terrorists.

Now Sweden's Foreign Ministry has lodged a protest against the way the delegation was treated.

The incident occurred in mid-March when personnel from the Migration Board were on their way to Israel.

The group was stopped by border police and was unable to enter the country before going through a lengthy interrogation.

“The impression we got was that it wasn't simply a concern for security that was behind the incident. Personally, I don't want to use the word harassment, but it's one possible judgment someone could make based on how much time they took,” said Migration Board Middle East expert Dag Kymell to the Riksdag and Departamentet newspaper.

It was when Israeli border guards discovered stamps from Syria in Kymell's passport that the group was stopped. That Kymell was in the presence of two diplomats who could vouch for him and that Swedish citizens don't need a visa for travel to Syria didn't persuade the guards.

Instead the Swedes were subjected to a drawn out and detailed questioning during which they were accused of collaborating with terrorists.

Sweden's embassy in Israel has now been asked by the Foreign Ministry to make a statement against” representatives from Swedish agencies on official business being told they are suspected of contacts with terrorists. The embassy has also been asked to “question the proportionality in treatment of the government personnel in relation to the level of risk they can likely be considered to cause.”

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