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CRIME

Court rejects Albanian extradition request

The Swedish Supreme Court (HD) has backed a decision by prosecutors not to extradite a woman suspected of carrying out several murders in Albania due to concerns that her human rights would not be respected.

The court ruled that the 45-year-old Albanian woman should not be extradited to Albania as “the investigation into her case indicates that she runs a serious risk of being subjected to treatment in contravention of article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).”

The court supported the findings of the head public prosecutor in Sweden, and on the advice of the Swedish Migration Board concluded that the Albanian authorities would not be able to provide sufficient protection to the woman.

The Supreme Court cited a 2007 report by the Swedish foreign ministry on the human rights situation in Albania to support its decision.

The woman had previously been sentenced by a judge in Albania to 25 years in prison for crimes carried out in 2002, including the killing of two men to avenge her brother’s death.

She was arrested in April on international arrest warrants and has been in custody in western Sweden while courts have tried to determine whether the 45-year-old woman, and her 70-year-old brother, should be sent back to Albania.

The Supreme Court noted that the woman flatly denies the allegations against her and that she considers “the trial against her in Albania to be a show trial”, and that the “political leadership in Albania is trying to silence her.”

The woman argues that if she were to be extradited to Albania she would be “tortured, humiliated and finally murdered.”

The Supreme Court found no basis to object to the extradition according to the European Convention on Extradition but instead based its decision explicitly on concerns over the woman’s right to the protection of her human rights enshrined in the ECHR.

Article three of the convention prohibits “torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” and is commonly cited to prohibit the extradition of a person to a foreign state is they are likely to be subjected there to torture.

The Supreme Court has previously made a similar ruling in respect of her brother who has since been released from the detention centre in Alingsås.

CRIME

Eminent Swedish psychiatrist killed in Almedalen knife attack

The Swedish psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren was named on Wednesday evening as the victim of the knife attack at the Almedalen political festival.

Eminent Swedish psychiatrist killed in Almedalen knife attack

Wieselgren, 64, worked as National Coordinator for Psychiatry at The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKR), and was stabbed in the chest on Wednesday at 2pm as she was on the way to a seminar on children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses such as ADHD and Autism. 

She was given CPR until an ambulance arrived, and taken to the Visby Lasarett, but died shortly afterwards. 

Wieselgren had worked throughout her life to communicate with the public on mental health and psychiatric issues, contributing several times to the Thought of the Day slot on Swedish state broadcast SR, and recording videos on YouTube.  

Hours before her death, she recorded and published a video clip in which she said, “However well we do in building our society, some people will have difficulties. Sometimes life is not so simple, it is not so nice to us”. 

Wieselgren’s death was officially confirmed in a press release from the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions on Thursday morning. 

“SKR has lost an appreciated and much-loved employee, her colleagues have lost a good friend, and Sweden as a whole has lost one of the strongest voices for psychiatric health and psychiatric care,” said the organisation’s chief executive Steffan Isling. “She was a strong voice for those who are otherwise not heard in the national debate.”

Sweden’s health minister, Lena Hallengren, said in a statement on Twitter that Wieselgren had been for her “an important source of knowledge and inspiration in the work against psychiatric ill-health.” 

“The message that Ing-Marie Wieselgren has died in this horrific attack in Visby has left me in dismay,” she said. 

According to the Sweden’s Expressen and Aftonbladet tabloid, the 33-year-old attacker, who is being held on suspicion of murder, has links to the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR), and had expressed support for the far-Right Alternative for Sweden party. 

According to the anti-extremist magazine Expo, the man signed up for so-called “support membership” of NMR in 2015, and wrote several articles for the organisation’s Nordfront newspaper. 

He also took part in at least four of the organisations demonstrations between 2017 and 2018, after which it is unclear if he was still actively engaged. 

According to Expo, the man attended the Almedalen festival in 2014, at which he wore a Sweden Democrat t-shirt, but he told a representative for the neo-Nazi Svenskarnas party, that he also supported them. 

“I sympathise with the Sweden Democrats, but I also support you,” he said, the magazine reported. “You are the spearhead of the nationalist movement.”

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