Teen flees ahead of scheduled deportation to Croatia

A 17-year-old girl from Karlshamn in southern Sweden set to be expelled from the country following a controversial decision has disappeared ahead of her scheduled deportation.

“I don’t know where she is. She’s in a very difficult situation,” said the girl’s lawyer, Nils Fagrenius, to the TT news agency.

Known in the Swedish media simply as “Lollo”, the girl’s case has yet to reach the highest levels of the court, the Migration Court of Appeal (Migrationsöverdomstolen).

The police had planned to deport the girl on Thursday. But Lollo responded by fleeing from her secret address, where she had been placed following a decision by the Karlshamn social welfare board.

Lollo was born in Sweden and has lived most of her life in the country. A few years ago it emerged that she and her sister had been abused by their father, who had been convicted of abuse.

It was then that the municipality decided to put both girls in protective custody and house them at a secret address.

Despite the girl’s situation, the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) decided that Lollo’s entire family should be deported to Croatia, her father’s country of origin.

The decision has been criticized by many, who claim that measures to protect minors from potential harm ought to be tougher.

“But the girl isn’t anywhere near being able to stay,” said Migration Board head Dan Eliasson during a debate broadcast on Sveriges Television on Tuesday night.

He point to laws his agency is required to follow, and how painful specific cases can appear to be.

But Lollo’s lawyer has another point of view, explaining that the girl was actually awarded permanent residency in the migration court in 2007.

“Then the Migration Board appealed and won,” he said.

Currently, the Migration Court in Malmö agrees with the Migration Board position, but the Migration Court of Appeal has yet to rule on the case. Nor has it ruled on Fagrenius’s request to stop the deportation until a final verdict has been reached.