“We have received new information that must be investigated,” said Fredrik Bengtsson, spokesperson for the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) to the TT news agency.
Late on Wednesday afternoon, the boy’s representative sent a formal request to the Migration Board for a temporary stop to the deportation case so it could be re-examined.
Without such a request, authorities are not able to act at all, however now they were forced to make a decision one way or the other.
15-year-old Ali had arrived to Sweden from Italy during the winter and was set to be sent back in accordance with the European Union Dublin Regulation, stipulating that illegal immigrants must be sent back to the country where they entered the EU.
However, the Migration Board reversed their decision Thursday due to the boy’s deteriorating mental state. He is currently being cared for in a psychiatric emergency ward in Malmö, southern Sweden.
The boy, originally from Afghanistan, has now been given permission to stay in Sweden until further notice.
The 15-year-old told of being beaten and threatened by Italian police and how he was the victim of gang rape at a refugee center in Italy.
Cecilia Wikström, a Swedish Member of the European Parliament from the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) who works on asylum issues, was critical of the manner in which the boy has been treated.
“The difference in the new regulation means that we have an article that also says that if there is a risk of inhumane or degrading treatment in the first country, then we cannot return the person there, but the country that the person is in takes charge,” she said to TT.
“One should always act and make decisions in accordance with the best interests of children. There is nothing in this case to suggest that it is in the child’s best interest to be returned to Italy.”