Inconsistent rulings frustrate Somali asylum seekers

The fate of Somalis seeking asylum in Sweden depends a great deal which court hears their case.

While the migration court in Gothenburg has allowed every Somali from the capital city of Mogadishu stay in Sweden, the migration courts in Stockholm and Malmö reject most asylum applications.

“It’s a threat against the rule of law,” said attorney Ove Behrens to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

“We can’t have it so that those who have their cases heard in Gothenburg get to stay, while at the same a whole gang here in Stockholm gets deported.”

He represents several Somalis who, according to court decisions, are to be deported from Sweden.

For the Somalis, it’s a question of life and death, said Behrens.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do. It’s impossible for me to return to Mogadishu. My family has fled to Kenya,” Mogadishu-native Yasin Ahmed told DN.

Following reports of the deteriorating situation in Mogadishu, the migration court in Gothenburg has reversed around a dozen decisions by the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) in the last three months and instead granted the Somali asylum seekers Swedish residence permits.

During the same period, the migration court in Stockholm has decided that about 50 out of 60 people should be expelled from Sweden. And of the few cases heard by the court in Malmö, most have resulted in deportation orders.