Ahmed Agiza released from prison

Civil Rights Defenders welcomes the news that Ahmed Agiza has been released from Egyptian prison. We hope that the release will lead to renewed investigations about what the two men suffered at Bromma Airport and upon arrival in Egypt in connection with their expulsion10 years ago.

- Given the serious abuses that have occurred, both legal and physical, we think it is a scandal that no one has been held accountable, said Robert Hårdh, Executive Director of Civil Rights Defenders.

Sweden has been criticized repeatedly by the United Nations Human Rights Committee and the UN Committee against Torture for the expulsion, and for violating the absolute ban on torture. Sweden has also been criticized for not having investigated the criminal liability for the violation.

In 2008, Civil Rights Defenders managed to get Sweden to pay damages of three million Swedish kronor each to the two men, for the human rights violations that they had suffered as a result of  Sweden’s decision to expel them to Egypt. Nevertheless, Sweden decided in November 2009 to deny Ahmed Agiza and Mohammed Alzery permission to return to Sweden.

- There is a lack of logic in the fact that the Chancellor of Justice granted a compensation of 3 million kronor each to Agiza and Alzery, while the government refused them residence permits claiming that they were still considered a security risk. Does that mean that we have paid damages to two people who are suspected terrorists? In addition, the government’s decision is based on classified information from the Security Service which makes it impossible for the two men to defend themselves, said Robert Hårdh.

A redress for the violations Agiza and Alzery were subjected to requires more than just a financial compensation. It requires that the men are placed in the same situation as they were before the violation occurred. Which means that Sweden has an obligation to grant the two men permission to return to Sweden.

But that is not enough, a judicial inquiry should also be implemented, given the serious abuses that have occurred.

 

Background

Ahmed Agiza and Mohammed Alzery were expelled from Sweden to Egypt in brutal forms in December 2001. American CIA agents were present at the deportation from Bromma Airport. Both men testified that they had been subjected to torture and degrading treatment. Ahmed Agiza was sentenced in a summary military trial without the opportunity to call its own witnesses, or appeal the ruling. Moreover, the accusations made against him in Egypt were such that they are not even punishable in Sweden. Mohammed Alzery was released in 2003 without having been charged or convicted of any crime.

Civil Rights Defenders were quick to draw attention to the expulsion of Ahmed Agiza and Mohammed Alzery, including the submission of alternative reports to the UN Human Rights Committee and the UN Committee against Torture in 2002. We also took the case of Mohammed Alzery to the UN Human Rights Committee. In late 2006, the UN Human Rights Committee ruled that Sweden had violated the absolute prohibition on torture in several respects. Sweden was also condemned for failing to allocate criminal responsibility for the violation. In 2008, we finally managed, as representatives for the two men, to get Sweden, through the Office of the Chancellor of Justice, to adjudge damages of three million Swedish kronor each to them.

Categories: News.
Tags: Ahmed Agiza, Expulsion, and Mohammed Alzery.
Regions: Sweden.
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