Sweden rejects 'world's oldest refugee's' asylum application

Emma Löfgren
Emma Löfgren - [email protected]
Sweden rejects 'world's oldest refugee's' asylum application

Bibihal Uzbeki, 106, travelled to Sweden from Afghanistan with her family to seek asylum. She has now been told to leave after her application was rejected, reports Blankspot.


Uzbeki, from Kunduz, Afghanistan, was nicknamed "the world's oldest refugee" when international media spoke to her in a Croatian migrant camp in 2015, when around 163,000 people sought asylum in Sweden.

Uzbeki being helped in a refugee camp in Croatia in 2015. Photo: AP Photo/Marjan Vucetic

She and her family had fled from Afghanistan via Iran, Turkey and Greece, and eventually ended up in Skaraborg county, Sweden. Uzbeki's son and grandchildren took turns to carry her on their backs.

“We had problems many times. I suffered a lot,” Uzbeki told The Guardian in 2015. “I fell and injured my head. I have scars on my head.”

“It was a difficult journey for the whole family. We carried her until we reached Germany, there a doctor finally gave us a wheelchair,” her son Mohammadhulla told Skaraborg Läns tidning in 2016.

But in June her application for asylum in Sweden was rejected, reports Swedish crowd-funded journalism site Blankspot.

According to the Migration Agency's decision Uzbeki must now return to Afghanistan, or to any other country willing to take her in.

The decision has been appealed to the Migration Court.

Sweden has been called on to suspend deportations to Afghanistan over the deteriorating security situation in the country. However, it has so far said that it will not, and is monitoring the situation.

“Migrationsverket constantly follows the security situation in Afghanistan, and our assessment is that the situation in the country is serious and has deteriorated in the last year. But there are still big differences between different parts of the country, and our assessment is that the conflict has not reached a level where it impacts all of the country – in other words, the level required for everyone who comes from there to have the right to stay,” the Migration Agency has said in a written statement.

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Uzbeki in the refugee camp in Croatia. Photo: AP Photo/Marjan Vucetic


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