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Afghan teens left in the cold by train operator

TT/The Local · 29 Dec 2009, 08:47

Published: 29 Dec 2009 08:47 GMT+01:00

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The five youths, aged 14- to 18-years-old, told authorities in Sweden they had been smuggled through Europe in a container and thrown out in a wooded area near Sävsjö.

But upon arriving in Malmö in southern Sweden, the boys had actually boarded an SJ train destined for Stockholm.

“They were discovered near Alvesta by SJ personnel. Because they lacked tickets they were forced off in Sävsjö,” Jönköping police spokesperson Nils-Erik Eriksson told the TT news agency.

“The information we have is that the boys were smuggled to Malmö in a truck before they then continued on their own by train.”

Social services in Sävsjö now plan to place four of the boys in a youth home near Gothenburg.

The oldest boy, who is 18-years-old, will be placed in a refugee arrival facility operated by the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket).

According to the police, the boys plan to seek asylum in Sweden.

Swedish national rail carrier SJ notified police that the boys had been forced from the train, but when police arrived at the Sävsjö train station, the boys had already been taken in by members of the local Högland church.

Even though the boys were lightly clothed and had no money, SJ still kicked them off the train. According to SJ regulations, passengers found to have boarded a train without paying for a proper ticket must get off the train at the next station.

Normally the Malmö-Stockholm train doesn’t stop in Sävsjö, but an exception was made in the case of the ticketless Afghan teens.

According to SJ, their decision to force the youths from the train wasn’t insensitive.

“Saying they were thrown off the train is a faulty description. Staff handled the matter totally by the book. They were asked to leave the train, and they left calmly and quietly,” SJ spokesperson Dag Rosander told TT.

Around 2,100 unaccompanied refugee children have come to Sweden so far this year, with 745 children from Afghanistan making up the largest portion.

According to the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA), most belong to vulnerable minority groups who have been on the run for some time.

Story continues below…

“The government in Kabul can’t guarantee any group’s safety these days. The stream of refugees from Afghanistan is only going to increase,” committee secretary general Torbjörn Pettersson told TT.

The teens’ plight has brought the residents of Sävsjö together. All the boys have been outfitted with several sets of clothes and shoes to withstand the chilly winter weather.

Social services wasn’t ready to assist them immediately, instead allowing members of the Högland church parish to care for the boys over Christmas holiday weekend.

“It has been important for us to show friendly human compassion. They were, despite everything, extremely vulnerable when they came here,” said Högland church pastor Jonas Nyström.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:25 December 29, 2009 by Luckystrike
Left in the cold? Oh shame....Now send em packing back to Afghanistan!

Surely "The local" can find better news stories to write about ?
09:31 December 29, 2009 by Hagen
Does this mean that entering Sweden illegally will get rewarded ?

I cannot comprehend any circumstances that would warrent these illegals not being sent back to their homeland and I wonder what would happen if they were followed by a Million more, just like them ?

Would the same treatment be given to the new Million illegals ? or would common sense prevail ?
10:42 December 29, 2009 by calebian22
Why is this news? No pay, no ride. If they were Nordic in their complexion and hair color this wouldn't even make it into the regional papers. Good job, SJ!
10:44 December 29, 2009 by aaww
shame on Sweden!

now you find people boarding SL bus without showing a ticket in a frequent manner, and bus driver does not have the possibility to ask them to leave.

you have to know that we the people who pays have to spend 690 SEK every month, which is far from cheap.
10:54 December 29, 2009 by Schwoebel
At least Indiana Jones didn't find them. They should be sent home and consider themselves lucky.
11:33 December 29, 2009 by occassional
Threw them out of the train? Now throw the liars out of the country too and let's do everyone a favour!
12:00 December 29, 2009 by Osokin
In temperatures below zero the correct procedure for removing a passenger from public transportation is to call the police. They will probably be awarded refugee status on exchange for their suffering. Way things go.
12:11 December 29, 2009 by xavidx

Not likely. Migrationsverket has them in the system now and will probably do everything by the book.
13:12 December 29, 2009 by caramellla
how come all these comments sound so cold hearted and hostile?

Is it because you all live in warm houses in a rich country and have never ever witnessed a war? is that why you can not understand even one little part of these boys story?

I that why you want to throw them back just like that?

I am so ashamed for the people I live with if they sound like you guys!

happy new year!
13:17 December 29, 2009 by Beynch
The problem is they are most likely NOT Afghans with "parents killed by the Taliban". They appear more like Uzbeks, Tajiks or Turkmens looking for a tax payer funded life of wealth and luxury in the West. Sweden MUST stop admitting these questionable "hardship cases" and go back to a more palatable asylum policy. In this case my only demand is that the Law gets applied! The fact that they were "smuggled" in should not have a bearing on their status! Speaking of "smuggled", where were the immigration inspectors at Svågertorp? On coffee break? The most fair solution to this breach of Sweden's borders is to deny their application of entry, and remove them from Swedish territory. They are in violation of Swedish Law!
13:21 December 29, 2009 by calebian22

If you are so welcoming, maybe they can live at your house? There are rules. If you enter a country you should at least sign the guest book first. That is not too much to ask.
13:23 December 29, 2009 by Deema
"wealth and luxury" LoooooooooooooL

Seriously? Luxury is a word that is completely misunderstood by Swedes! There isn't a single luxurious place here!!!
13:58 December 29, 2009 by askin
Let's look at it objectively: 14-18 year olds travelling

all the way from Central Asia to Sweden illegally. Their story should be in the top Swedish newspapers. Why and how did these young boys travel all the way to Sweden; the difficulties they had in Afghanistan and the causes of it;

their dreams and hopes. Never mind their passports etc.

After a media welcome, the Swedish police should have taken these boys to the Afghan Embassy to be returned back to Afghanistan. Aren't they Afghan citizens? Why should Sweden

take care of them? If it is a refugee situation, then they could seek refuge in a neighbouring country like Iran or Pakistan, or India or Turkmenistan whatever. Why seek refuge

half the way around the world?
14:52 December 29, 2009 by Stand_by
As a EU citizen with right to reside in Sweden I needed to save money for years before moving here a few months ago, so that I could provide I was going to be able to support myself instead of becoming any kind of charge for the Country. I am more than happy paying for all my expenses since I arrived here and it will be the same even thought at this point I have almost no chances to get a job due to my lack of fluent Swedish. This is precisely the main objective to achieve for me before thinking on anything else and once again I am more than happy with that.

However people from all over the world who supposedly would not have that right enter the country illegally and get everything done and paid automatically. I do NOT want any economic help or whatsoever. I have done my homework during many years in order to achieve my dream to move here, but I really feel that kind of exaggerated positive discrimination generates unfair and negative discrimination for many others who play according to the rules.

I wonder if I really have any rights as a EU citizen or just the obligation to do everything according to the law.
15:44 December 29, 2009 by GefleFrequentFlyer
No passport? Deport.

It's really that simple.
16:18 December 29, 2009 by Redbee
Although i sympathize regarding refugees i and my husband have family in Sweden and could buy a property after selling our home ,also we have enough pension to live on after both working 40 years in the UK .We would have liked to have lived near our only family, however we have not contributed to the Swedish health system so cannot expect to receive such a service . Unfortunately we cannot afford the very expensive private health care so we must stay put so it's not only refugees that cannot emigrate and follow their dream .
16:30 December 29, 2009 by javed-z
you people talk bulshit you never been to war
16:31 December 29, 2009 by Suntiger
Assuming you can even get passport from your home country (not likely if you're either underage, a repressed minority or too poor to bribe the officials) it's standard procedure for smugglers to take the passports from the people they smuggle, to have a hold over them.

The passport are rarely returned though. It's common they are used sold to and/or used by criminal organizations for false identities.

I say take the kids in, put them through school and then have them work (for the state or a private company or whatever) an obligatory five years or so in exchange for education, food, board and a small but reasonable salary.

This work should be in addition to the 'regular' job market and does not take away any jobs there.

They do deserve aid, but we shouldn't be afraid to put demands on them as well.
16:41 December 29, 2009 by Osokin
@xavidx "by the book" my point exactly, they are already in the inside, they made it.

@Suntiger You know how many millions of people would take you on that deal ?
16:49 December 29, 2009 by javed-z
will let them stay and get good life
17:02 December 29, 2009 by travels
Someone wrote..."you people talk bulshit you never been to war"

And because their country is at war (after the Taliban allowed Al-Qaida to run their terrorist operations from there) they decided to be smugled all the way through the middle east and Europe, to Sweden???. We probably don't even know who they really are, only what they want to say about themselves.
17:11 December 29, 2009 by simepal

The only right you have is that of a human on an earth you didnt create. Being an EU citizen is not the issue. The issue is to consider all humans as having the RIGHT to live whereever they please without denying them that choice.

EU my foot
17:17 December 29, 2009 by Suntiger

Excellent! We'll turn them into integrated, or at least workers, when their obligatory years are done, and gain a taxpaying worker.

In an ideal world anyway. ;)

Of course there would be some bumps and snags, but seriously, could we do worse than the current immigration policy (well, ok, we can do a lot worse. Still, it's not good as it is).

Immigrants with high educations get stuck in low end jobs. Others who are willing and eager to work doesn't get any, and the bad apples who do want to live on welfare (a minority among those I've met, both native swedes and immigrants) hog all the media attention.
17:30 December 29, 2009 by travels

I know a few people who would like a new place to live, being that you believe that we should "consider all humans as having the RIGHT to live whereever they please without denying them that choice", please provide your address so they can move in with you. You'll probably also be willing and able to pay their living expenses.
17:46 December 29, 2009 by Osokin
@Suntiger , you know that's not gonna fly pal, there are a few chairs and too many dancers, something has to give.

BTW I can't relate to people who loathe other's use of welfare, isn't welfare there to be used ? Same way one pays his taxes on time, one gets help when things don't go well. If the law permits abuse of welfare, the problem is the law not the people who follow it. People just weigh their alternatives and choose the path they see most convenient, immigrant, local or martian.

Like this gang of 5 here did precisely. Welcome to Sweden ! Here's your heated home, allowance, health care, education, low end job (or loafer's right) and brace for your appointed forty-something woman with baby fever. Enjoy.
18:43 December 29, 2009 by EricEric
It´s time for the afghans, bosnians, croatians, iranians and the iraqis to go home now. They have done tehir parasiting on our swedish society long enough. Increased gang rapes in all nordic countries, more violence, 2-3% of the swedisg GDP goes to pay for the immigrants. It's a shame.
21:30 December 29, 2009 by littlegirl
How to handle it if one million afghans come?
22:46 December 29, 2009 by CanadianEh
@ EricEric

@ all anti humanity haters out there

I heard your argument before and many anti immigrant, anti Asian, anti Muslim anti African anti etc etc. I believe the best example of this repetitive argument was made in 1933 by the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party. His arguments mimic exactly the voice of the Sweden Democrats. He gained support by promoting German nationalism, anti-Semitism, anti-capitalism, and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and propaganda. He was appointed chancellor in 1933, and quickly transformed the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich, a single-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideals of National Socialism.

So unless you want to turn Sweden from a country where the rest of the world praises and looks up into something that history would rather take lessons from … STFU.
23:04 December 29, 2009 by asim513
above askin said "If it is a refugee situation, then they could seek refuge in a neighbouring country like Iran or Pakistan, or India or Turkmenistan whatever. "

There were almost 5 million refugees in Pakistan (highest in the world). Why the West, or Russia has no obligation to them?? Afghanistan was destroyed as a result of Cold War. So Russia and West are both responsible to help the Afghans. Russia invaded that country and West took the opportunity. As a result Afghans lost everything.

Now world should wake up and take some responsibility for destroying a PEACEFUL country.
01:59 December 30, 2009 by maggieisthebest
The world we live in, belongs to every human being and all the living creatures. Everyone of us die tomorrow and burried 6ft under. Nothing is forever. Why are we arguing on mine and yours? Peace and coexistance is the best!!! love your life and respect others.
06:25 December 30, 2009 by JoeSwede
The world we live in, belongs to every human being and all the living creatures. The muslim countries need to change and go on a zero population growth path.

Sweden needs to increase to a zero population growth.
15:38 December 30, 2009 by Newyork-Växjö
These smugglers put them under the trucks ,inside containers.. Many of these teens die on the way. every day like 20 of these kids die ...

If you have war in your country, if you loss your family members then I am sure you would support these people no matter what religion or race.

A strong is person who loves human and helps them when they need. I personally like SJ

and what did was right but also wrong. They could call Police with the next station and keep them warm in the train so with the next station police could arrive on the station and take them to custody to check the issue. but they were nice kids they gentle get off (:
16:51 December 30, 2009 by efm
Coldness and meaness do permeates this forum.

People can say what they want and be as hateful and callous to the max, but it will not solve the global problem of poverty, injustice and oppression.

To a refugee mind, no matter how tough and dangerous it may seem, they willl be willing to undergo this plight of fate, -simply because they want to live, and a chance for a better life. Destination can be Sweden, Canada, US or any country, there are refugees moving around.

To demagogue this poor souls, is only a convinient way to sweep the problem under the rug, a better way is to suggest how the richer countries of these earth help prevent and avoid these mass migration of poor people. It will not solve it completely, but it may be a good rational start.
22:05 December 30, 2009 by "green Swede"
@stand_by.well said,some good points.

@simepal"all humans should have the right to live where ever they like" "eu my foot" how naive and utterly over simplistic,theres a reason millions don't emigrate in the opposite direction,and not the fact that there's no way that they would be tolerated,it's taken generation upon generation to build the western countries up to the standard that they enjoy today and millions arriving from countries that border on stoneage in various ways is not suprisingly going to irritate many many people who have a genuine birthright based on their and their father's and father's father's contribution to the country they live in.many of these "refugees"couldn't find sweden on a map and are even less interested when they get here.charity begins at home,so when many native swedes in this case feel that their being short changed when it comes to health care,education,housing etc etc and then see the billions being spent on immigrants,well it's hardly suprising that people feel frustrated.Immigration is not a bad thing,controlled numbers,good programes to integrate the immigrants and a willingness from them to assimilate themselves is a very good start.obviously it's not as simple as 1 2 3 but it's a hell of a lot better than the current system,like the current justice system in this country,if there's not a major overhaul and sometime soon....well maybe even the immigrants won't be too pushed to come here in future,and if that happened,then on numerous levels,NOBODY wins.
17:35 December 31, 2009 by Suprise
Wow.. So nice to see the Christmas spirit alive and well..

I hope these boys are set on the right path.. Whatever that may be.

As for the posters on this article who seem to feel that all the negative posting is ok because you are anonymous.. Enjoy your Christmas with your friends in your warm apartments or houses and your gifts.. Don't think one moment about the children living hopeless lives who only want a bed and a warm meal.. Animals treat each other better than you people..
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