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HADDILE'S DEPORTATION BATTLE

ALGERIA

Algerian couple shown to be Haddile’s parents

A DNA test has shown that an Algerian couple are indeed the birth parents of Haddile, a two-year-old who faced deportation after being abandoned in Sweden and assaulted by her step-father, a lawyer for the couple has said.

Algerian couple shown to be Haddile's parents

“They’ve received an answer from the Swedish embassy that the DNA test proved they are Haddile’s parents,” the couple’s lawyer, Fatima Benbraham, told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

She expects the couple to come to Sweden on December 7th.

Carl-Olof Lindberg, who represents Haddile, told TT he has warned the social services administration in Lund to be ready for every possible scenario when the toddler’s birth parents arrive.

“The Algerian couple might just come here to simply pick up the girl and say thanks a lot for your time. It’s going to be terribly traumatic for her because she doesn’t have any memory of her parents, has never been to their home homeland, and doesn’t speak their language.”

The social services office’s investigation will ultimately determine if Haddile should continue to be cared for by the foster parents with whom she has lived for nearly her entire life.

The case of 2-year-old Haddile, who was abandoned by her mother shortly after her birth and then allegedly abused by her stepfather before being taken in by foster parents, has outraged and captivated Swedes.

The girl’s mother, who is Algerian but has French citizenship, disappeared 20 days after giving birth at a hospital in Lund in the south of Sweden.

Haddile’s step-father took care of her when the mother disappeared but he was accused of abuse after the baby girl was admitted to hospital with serious brain damage at the age of four months.

The child then ended up in foster care and her foster parents have said they are willing to adopt her.

A move by the Migration Board (Migrationsverket) to deport the child to France in an effort to reunite her with her mother resulted in a petition signed by tens of thousands of Swedes, prompting the agency to put a temporary delay on their deportation decision as the search for her parents continued.

If social services decide that the girl should be reunited with her birth parents, Haddile’s case would no longer be a matter for migration authorities.

Citing a report from the Swedish Foreign Ministry, Lindberg fears that, since Haddile was born out of wedlock, she will be traumatized and suffer for the rest of her life in Algeria.

TT/The Local/dl

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IMMIGRATION

Attack on migration minister at refugee home

UPDATED: Sweden's Minister for Justice and Migration, Morgan Johansson has been attacked with a fire extinguisher after visiting a housing project for refugees in southern Sweden, but is not thought to have been injured.

Attack on migration minister at refugee home
Sweden's Minister for Justice and Migration, Morgan Johansson. Photo: TT
Morgan Johansson was leaving the building when a man grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed foam over the minister, according to reports in regional newspaper Kristianstadsbladet.
 
According to the paper, the Social Democrat politician barely had time to react before a guard from Sweden's Security Service (Säpo) pulled the man to the ground.
 
The minister had spent the day visiting various locations around Kristianstad, a city in Skåne in southern Sweden.
 
The refugee accommodation he was attacked at is on the former site of Broby Hospital, a healthcare centre which closed down several years ago.
 

Sweden became the first European country in 2013 to grant automatic residency to Syrian refugees and has since seen asylum requests rise to record levels, which are still expected to reach about 90,000 in 2015.

Previously no more than 200 asylum seekers were permitted to stay in one centre. But under the new rules, the Migration Board can sign a basic contract for 350 places, including two supplementary agreements of 150 places each after the first ones have been filled.

According to the Swedish Migration Board's latest prognosis, 15,000 more asylum places will need to be created in the coming year.

Last week a survey by pollsters Ipsos commissioned by Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter suggested that more than 60 percent of Swedes believe that immigration is good for the country, but just ten percent agree that integration efforts are working well.

Morgan Johansson told local news network P4 Kristianstad that he had been "taken by surprise", but added that he had not been injured.

"But you shouldn't treat these things too lightly either. You can't just say 'move on', because of course it's serious," he said.

The attack on the politician took place as Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven reiterated his commitment to helping refugees, but called on other EU nations to share the burden.

"We need to provide security for the refugees who risk facing death just a few mile off the coast of Europe, and get more of the EU member states to take responsibility for refugee protection," he said in a speech at a school in Gothenburg.

"Germany and Sweden take the greatest responsibility. More countries need to help take care of refugees," he added.