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'North Korean boy' in Sweden risks torture

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'North Korean boy' in Sweden risks torture
The case has been taken up by Sweden's Migration Board. Photo: TT
12:06 CET+01:00
A boy who claims he smuggled himself to Sweden from North Korea will be extradited to China, because Swedish officials doubt his story.
The boy, whose age hasn't been revealed, claimed that he smuggled himself from North Korea to Sweden, via China and the Siberian Express railway, reported Sveriges Radio (SR). 
 
Sweden's Migration Board launched an investigation into the case, eventually refusing to believe the boy's story. Officials then ruled to extradite him to China at the beginning of next year. 
 
The boy, who is currently living in a state-funded property for asylum seekers in Sweden, had given the place name of his home in North Korea to Swedish authorities, but they were unable to locate it. 
 
The Migration Board added that the boy did not appear to speak North Korean as his mother tongue. 
 
Sveriges Radio then launched an investigation of its own, with the help of experts in both North Korea and China. It revealed on Wednesday that the migration board had misspelled the boy's hometown, which explains why officials were unable to find it on a map. 
 
When the broadcaster contacted the linguist responsible for ruling that the boy was not from North Korea, she denied ever making the ruling.
 
"No, no, no. They are wrong, this is ridiculous, this is a lie," she said.
 
But with the boy's fate already decided, he feared that Chinese officials would send to North Korea, where he says prison and possible torture awaits.
 
"If I go back to North Korea then I will die," he told SR.
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