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CIA

CIA rendition deportee: ‘Sweden is responsible’

Ahmed Agiza, who was flown out of Sweden to Egypt by the CIA in 2001 where he was imprisoned until last week, has claimed that Sweden needs to take responsibility for what happened to him.

CIA rendition deportee: 'Sweden is responsible'
An undated file photo of Ahmed Agiza

Agiza met with several representatives of the Swedish media in Cario on the condition that he not be asked about the circumstances surrounding his 2001 forced deportation.

He, along with fellow Egyptian national Mohammed Alzery, were forcibly handed over to the CIA by Swedish security service agents as part of a so called terror suspect “rendition” operation carried out by the US spy agency.

The deportations were criticised by both the United Nations and several human rights groups.

“I see this is Sweden’s responsibility because they made the decision despite that they knew what the Egyptians would do,” Agiza told Sveriges Radio (SR).

Karlstad-resident Agiza spent almost ten years in a cell in the Tora prison in Cairo, convicted by a military court of having been a member of a terror-linked organisation.

The decision to release Agiza was made by the social democratic government in Egypt at the behest of the United States and has been welcomed by international human rights organizations.

However, he has several lasting injuries from the torture he suffered while in Egyptian prison. Among other things, his nose was broken, making it difficult for him to breath.

“I’ve been able to meet with a specialist at a centre for torture injuries to receive help. The problem is that my brain is in high gear even when I sleep,” he told TV4.

Two years ago, Agiza had his application for a Swedish residency permit denied based on secret information held by Swedish security service Säpo.

Agiza claims that he’s never been a threat.

“I’m no terrorist, I’m not some sort of security risk for Sweden,” he told Sveriges Television (SVT).

Agiza and Alzery have received 3 million kronor ($464,000) each in compensation from the Swedish state.

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BURIAL

Swedish archeologist finds ancient mass grave in Egypt

A Swedish archeologist has discovered a 3,000-year-old mass grave at the Gebel el-Silsila site in southern Egypt.

Swedish archeologist finds ancient mass grave in Egypt
John Ward and the team with one of the sarcophogi. Photo: Gebel El Silsila Project
Maria Nilsson, Researcher in Classical Archeology at Lund University, told Sweden’s TT newswire that although her group had so far dug through less than half of the grave site, they had already found a large number of human remains. 
 
“It’s just skeleton after skeleton after skeleton,” she said. “We haven’t yet finished the first chamber, but we have so far taken up 50 adults and 25 children.” 
 
Nilsson and her British husband John Ward, who is the project’s Assistant Director, announced the discovery in a video after it was announced by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquity on Thursday. 
 

 
The group discovered the shaft last year, but only realised its full significance when they started digging this October. The shaft was found five metres under ground and leads to two chambers, each filled with water, sand and sludge. 
 
View to the south-east of chamber 1. Photo: Gebel el Silsila Project
 
The grave is thought to date from Egypt’s 18th dynasty, making it around 3,400 years old. As well as bodies, the archeologists have found burial goods, such as scarabs, amulets, and different types of pots, coming from three generations of pharoahs: Thutmosis II, III och Amenhotep II.
 
Writing in her blog, Nilsson, said that no similar mass grave had been found as part of the dig. 
 
“No other tomb documented at Gebel el-Silsila previously has contained such a high number of entombed individuals,” she wrote.
 
“One of the more important results of the discovery at Gebel el-Silsila is the amount of buried children and women, indicating that there was a complete society with entire families living and working in ancient Kheny.”
 
 
Men-Kheper-Re scarab. Photo: Anders Andersson
 
“What we can see from the burial goods and the actual architecture of the tomb is that they belonged to the upper middle-class,” Nilsson said. “For various reasons, we believe that they were involved in quarry work.” 
 
The archeologists have several theories for why so many bodies were collected in the same place. 
 
Perhaps it was a kind of temporary morgue where Egypt’s priests kept bodies while waiting for grave sites to become available. Perhaps there had been an epidemic.   
 
In February Maria Nilsson and John Ward are returning to Sweden, and will be returning to the burial place next autumn. 
 
View from the shaft into chamber.  Photo: Anders Andersson
 
 
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