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Amnesty slams Sweden over refugee policies

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08:12 CEST+02:00
Shortcomings in Sweden's refugee policies and the country's dismal record at bringing reported rapes to trial have come in for criticism by Amnesty International in its 2008 annual report.

The United Nations Committee Against Torture has previously criticized the long times asylum seekers must wait in detention centres before being deported from Sweden after having their claims for refugee status denied.

In addition to referencing the UN criticism, Amnesty also pointed out that Sweden lacks any defined time limit for how long rejected refugee seekers can remain detained while awaiting deportation.

Also regrettable in the eyes of Amnesty is the falling number of approved Iraqi asylum cases following a controversial Migration Court of Appeal ruling which found that Iraq is no longer in the midst of an armed conflict.

An agreement between Sweden and Iraq from February last year which allows Sweden to forcibly return Iraqis who have had their asylum claims denied is yet another point on which Amnesty voiced its disapproval.

Amnesty also has concerns about figures showing that only 12 percent of reported rape cases in Sweden are ever tried in courtroom.

The lack of systematic and independent research into rape case investigations by police and prosecutors “hampers attempts to increase protection for those who have survived rapes”.

Amnesty once again referenced the UN torture committee for its complaints that Sweden lacks national statistics on domestic violence, and urges Sweden to boost effort to combat violence against women and children, as well as so called “honour violence”.

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