Five years ago, while working for the Swedish Public Radio, I read close to hundred asylum cases. I had received the authority to read Christian Iraqi's documents. They had all been rejected on their asylum applications. Many of the decisions were incomprehensible.
On behalf of Swedish Radio, Susan Ritzén (now at Swedish Public Television), Tove Svenonius (now manager at the Swedish Public Radio) and Karin Wirenhed (now reporter at Swedish Radio) did about twenty stories on how they run things at the immigration authorities. We found, among other things, a strange contract between Minister for Migration and Asylum Tobias Billström and the Iraqi government. According to Billström the agreement said that Iraqis, including the Assyrians/Syriacs/Chaldeans, Yezidis, Mandeans and other vulnerable minorities could be sent back to Iraq where they would be protected by the Iraqi government. Iraq interpreted the agreement in a different way and the Iraqi Migration Minister said to me in an interview, that Iraq couldn't possibly protect anyone, especially not the minorities.
We had one disclosure after another, where we proved illegal deportations that were contrary to the ratified conventions, for example to forcibly deport Christians back to Iraq. In addition, we found that people had disappeared without any trace after the deportations. We spoke with other deported, which had survived and were hidden in Mosul and cried for help. But Sweden continued to deport people.
One of those we interviewed, "Riyad", who was threatened by Islamists and whose brother was beheaded in front of a camera, contacted me again last week. He wanted to show me his latest asylum investigation. For eight years he has been fighting for the right to stay in Sweden. I printed out the papers and put them in my bag. I was on my way to a conference the week after and would have time to read them on the flight.
Håkan Sandvik (a priest and well known activist for the Christians from the Middle East and North Africa) and I would share a taxi to Arlanda, Stockholms international airport. We were both on our way to attend the same conference in Scotland. It was a little hard to talk to Håkan. Two of his close friends, both priests in Syria, had been kidnapped by Islamists. One is presumed killed, the other kidnapped a few days ago.
I was about to step into the taxi when I saw "Robert", another asylum seeker from Iraq. He has also been in Sweden for nearly eight years. He is Christian and has his name is on the Islamist death list because he has worked in the kitchen at a US base in Iraq. I thought he had a residence permit. I greeted him happily. When I hugged him, I felt his weakness. At a closer look, I saw that the left side of his face seemed to be paralyzed. His hand as well. Several signs of a stroke. But he didn't want to talk about the disease. He still hadn't received a residence permit. He was also in a hurry to work at a hot dog stand. He needed to try to make a living.
Whilst in the taxi I got a text. One of the activists in ADFA (A Demand for Action) announced that she can't cope any more. We have done much to provide for Christians and other groups that are vulnerable, to what most closely resembles to genocide in Iraq & Syria. She also said that she is proud to have been involved in the fight, but she can't handle it any more. She is mentally worn out of all the suffering she had been exposed to.
I felt overwhelmed by negative emotions. The next moment I read a BBC headline on the cell phone: "The terrorist group IS has killed 250 people, mostly women and children, in Palmyra in Syria." A city that recently was invaded by terrorists. I turned off the phone and went to sleep. When I woke up I had received emails from a group of Syrian activists. They had sent a link to an interview with UN Special Envoy Zainab Hawa Bangura. She expresses great concern. In the Swedish media I found: "She describes how girls are stripped naked on the slave markets, where they are classified and sold as sex slaves or distributed to IS leaders. How systematic rape, prostitution, forced abortion, and trafficking have become a part of the group's strategy and finance." My mind was about to explode.
On the plane, I read the interview held with Riyad at the Swedish Migration Agency. It turns my stomach. Here's an extract:
Migration Agency: "Are there any particular people within IS that would threaten you?"
Riyad: "No, I don't know any of them. Many of the common people have joined them. People from the area where we lived."
Migration Agency: "Did the ones, that you meant last time would make a threat to you, have anything connection with the ones that would make a threat to you today if you returned?"
Riyad: "Yes, of course it's the same people. They have even formed a country, and they are professional with beheadings. I did not submit repulsive photos showing it."
The ignorance and naivety above is not only devastating for the thousands of Christian Assyrians/Chaldeans/Syriacs from Iraq, who are hiding in Sweden because they've been rejected, it's also directly dangerous for Sweden.
It differs by no means from the view of the Swedish Vice Prime Minister Åsa Romsons and other politicians, and many other so-called idealists view of violent Islamism. What does the Swedish Immigration Board's management have to say about their administrator's ignorance on ISIS slaughter of insurgents? ISIS are killing everything and everyone that comes in their way, Muslims, Christians, no matter what, if they don't agree on ISIS beliefs and plan to change parts of the world to a Caliphate.
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