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Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws

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Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT
18:55 CEST+02:00
Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

At least 1,000 people, some of whom had marched some 30 kilometres, on Saturday gathered in the centre of the Swedish capital to protest the laws, which among other things require asylum-seeking minors to prove their age.

Protests were also being staged in 14 other Swedish cities and towns, including Umeå, Karlstad and Jönköping, Swedish news agency TT reported.

The demonstrations were organised by a network called #Vi star inte ut (We can’t stand it) which demands the end to forced deportations and more humane asylum rules, especially when it comes to a migrant return deal struck with Afghanistan.

The new temporary laws came into force on July 20 after Sweden, which has a population of around 10 million and has previously been viewed as one of the most generous migrant intake countries in Europe, last year took in 160,000 asylum seekers.

The laws are supposed to be in place for a maximum of three years in order to bring the number of people seeking asylum in the country down – all the while the Sweden works to improve the capacity of its intake system.

The key changes made to the Swedish laws on asylum included the  introduction of a three-year residence permit for those granted protection in Sweden, instead of the former rule of granting permanent permits. The right to family member immigration for various types of immigrants was also limited.

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