UN blasts Sweden over Egypt expulsion

Sweden breached the rights of an Egyptian man when it deported him to his home country where he was later tortured, the United Nations Committee on Torture ruled on Friday.

“The committee has found that… the guarantees given by Egypt were not enough to assure that Mr. Ahmed Agiza was not at risk of torture,” the committee said in a statement from Geneva.

The committee had already condemned Sweden in 2005 for having expelled Agiza despite international laws that governments should not send suspects to countries where they are likely to be tortured.

The Egyptian was deported in December 2001 along with another man, Mohammed Alzery. Both were asylum seekers and suspected of involvement in an extremist

organisation linked to the Al-Qaeda network.

After Sweden’s intelligence agency Säpo ordered that both men be expelled, they were handed over to US agents, put on a plane leased by the Pentagon and flown to Egypt.

The pair claimed they were mistreated during their transfer to Cairo and then tortured during their detention in Egypt.

In Egypt, Agiza received a 25-year prison sentence for terrorism which was later reduced to 15 years. Zery was freed by an Egyptian military court.

Sweden agreed in July 2008 to pay more than €300,000 (then $470,000) to Zery after admitting that he was wrongly expelled.

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