2003 Report by the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Theo van Boven


Urgent appeal

1730. On 10 January 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal on behalf of the wife and five children of Ahmed Hussein Mustafa Kamil Agiza who had reportedly been denied refugee status in Sweden in an unfair procedure, and were also be at risk of forcible return to Egypt. The Special Rapporteur requested information regarding measures to ensure that their claims for protection would be examined in a fair asylum procedure.

1731. By letter dated 27 February 2002, the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that on 14 January 2002 the Committee against Torture requested Sweden not to proceed with the expulsion while the case is under consideration by the Committee. Accordingly, the Swedish Migration Board decided on 18 January 2002 to stay the enforcement of the decision to expel them. By letter dated 7 April 2002, the Government informed that according to the Security Police, Ahmed Agiza had a leading role in an organization involved in terrorist activities. Under these circumstances, the Migration Board referred the case to the Government on 12 November 2001. One month later, the Swedish authorities sought guarantees that Ahmed Agiza and his family would be treated in accordance with international law upon their return in Egypt. Based upon the guaranties received, on 18 December 2001, the Government decided not to grant them permission to reside in Sweden and ordered their expulsion, which was enforced on the same day. The Government also informed that the Swedish Ambassador in Cairo has so far twice visited Ahmed Agiza in prison in Cairo and will continue to visit him. According to the Ambassador, he showed no signs of having been subjected to torture. The detainee was also visited by a Swedish journalist, his parents and a lawyer. The Ambassador has been given the possibility to be present at Ahmed Agiza’s trial. On 8 March 2002 a detailed report of this case was transmitted to the Committee against Torture on behalf of the Government.

1732. On 19 April 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteurs on violence against women, its causes and consequences, and on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions on behalf of Mahnaz Allayveysi Ghasem, of Kurdish origin, who was said to face imminent and forcible repatriation to the Islamic Republic Iran, where she may be at risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment or even honour killing. It is alleged that her family threatened her by phone with death for living in a non- marital status with a man in Finland. In November 2001, she reportedly filed an application for asylum. It is reported that this application has now been rejected and that there is no appeal available. A first attempt to deport her to Iran was made on 17 April 2002, but the captain of the air plane refused to take her on board because of her state of agitation. She was then taken to Karolinska Sjukhuset hospital where she had already been treated for an incurable brain tumour. Furthermore, they reportedly indicated that further examinations would be needed in three months time to decide whether chemotherapy may have an effect. She is said to be seriously depressed and to begin to lose contact with her environment because of her brain tumour.

1733. By letter dated 29 April 2002, the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that Mahmaz Allaveysi Ghasem applied for asylum under another name on 14 April 1998. In her application she claimed that she fled Iran when the authorities discovered that she and her husband were involved with the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI). As the Migration Board decided not to grant her permission to reside and the Aliens Appeal Board refused her appeal, she left from Finland, where she applied for a residence permit under a different name. In accordance with the Dublin Convention, she was returned to Sweden, she applied for a residence permit under a third name and acknowledged that the previous information she provided to the authorities was false. She reported that she had been ill-treated by her Iranian husband when they were living in Germany. She also stated that she could not return to Iran because she lacked work and a place to live and risked being stoned for adultery or being killed by her family. On 3 December 2001, the Migration Board decided not to grant her a residence permit based upon the consideration that the information she had provided was not reliable due to the fact that she had been given different information at different stages of the asylum investigation. In her appeal to the Aliens Appeals Board she stated that she was probably suffering from a brain tumor. However, the Board considered that her health condition was not a sufficient reason in accordance with law, to grant her a residence permit and noted that she should be able to have access to treatment for her condition in her home country. She further filed other three applications with the Board, which were turned down on 25 March 2002 and 17 April 2002 respectively. On and 23 April 2002, the Board decided to stay the enforcement of the decision on refusal of entry awaiting the outcome of its decision on a third application filed by the alleged victim. The Government also informed that there has been no application filed with the European Court of Human Rights which has been forwarded to the Government. The Government further indicated that the Special Rapporteur’s communication had been transmitted to all relevant authorities dealing with aliens’ rights. Finally it informed that persons with a well-founded fear of persecution because of gender or sexual orientation can be granted subsidiary protection.

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Sudan Switzerland

small logo   This report has been published by Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights on August 2, 2005.