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Pakistan Swedes Freed

Published lördag 10 oktober 2009 kl 11.55
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Mehdi Ghezali - one of the three arrested Swedish citizens
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Swedish ambassador Ulrika Sundberg met Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik to discuss the situation of the detained Swedes

Updated 3:20 PM

The Swedish Foreign Ministry says the Swedish citizens who have been detained in Pakistan for terrorist links have been freed and are on a plane for home.

According to the foreign ministry all four Swedes, three adults and a child, are on the same flight, which took off just before 08:00 hrs UTC Saturday. The foreign ministry says they were accompanied to the airport by Sweden’s ambassador to Pakistan Ulrika Sundberg, and that the Swedish government is not paying for the flight.

The Swedish woman’s mother has written on her website that she paid for the tickets for her daughter and grandchild on October 8. The Pakistan authorities had reportedly previously decided to release the 19 year old woman and her two year old child.

Celilia Julin of the Swedish Foreign Ministry tells the TT news agency that they believe the Pakistani authorities finally determined that there wasn’t enough evidence to bring the adults to trial. They were captured in late August, part of a group of 12 foreign citizens, on the border to Pakistan’s unsettled Northwest Frontier Province. They lacked visas to enter Pakistan and were suspected of espionage and plans to join terrorists.

One of the Swedes is Mehdi Ghezali, who was imprisoned at the American base at Guantanamo for more than two years. He has denied the charges and has said the group was on their way to a harmless religious meeting in Lahore.

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