A Green Party part-time politician from Gotheburg was detained and beaten in front of his children, the man’s brother told Swedish media on Monday.
“We are aware of a case in which a Swedish citizen was detained and released. The embassy is keeping an eye on the case,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Sara Brandt-Hansen told the TT news agency.
The man has lived in Sweden for almost three decades and is a Swedish citizen. He had returned with his nine children, all born in Sweden, to Ethiopia to visit their native Ogaden region, according to the brother.
The man told his brother on the phone that he had been assaulted and thrown from a moving vehicle by eight soldiers, before being taken to a house where the beating continued.
“He is very badly hurt and is having problems moving. There are no hospitals in the area,” the brother told TT.
“It feels terrible, we are of course very worried,” Green Party Gothenburg chairwoman Åse-Lill Törnqvist said. The local chapter of the party is in touch with the man’s family.
“We’ll see if we can help with anything,” Törnqvist added.
The Ogaden region between Ethiopia and Somalia has been contested for more than a century. Since 1984, the Ogaden National Liberation Front has taken up armed combat with security forces. The Swedish Foreign Ministry (Utrikesdepartementet – UD) advises Swedish citizens to stay clear of the region.