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Swedes Claim Pakistani Maltreatment

Published torsdag 15 oktober 2009 kl 15.55
The Swedes' Return To Stockholm

Two of the Swedes recently arrested in Pakistan, and released this week have told the Swedish authorities that they were mistreated in the Pakistani jail, leading the Swedish Foreign Ministry to make an official complaint via the ambassador in Islamabad.

The Foreign Ministry reacted following comments by the two men after their return to Sweden over the weekend. They told officials that they were poorly treated during their month's imprisonment, a complaint which led Swedish diplomats to complain to their Pakistani counterparts. Anders Jörle, head of Press at the Swedish Foreign Ministry told Swedish Radio.

"We've had information about this so as soon as we found out our ambassador complained to the authorities, and pointed out the importance of respecting human rights, and that people held in custody should be treated according to international law" he said.

Jörle refused, however, to elaborate on what the two prisoners have said exactly about how they were treated in the Pakistani jail. But the ministry will not be taking any more action against Pakistan, saying that the matter is now closed.

The 3 Swedish adults and an infant are now recovering from their experiences.

Helena Benaouda is the head of Sweden's Muslim Council, and the mother of one of the Swedes arrested in Pakistan. She told Swedish Radio that she had herself wondered why her daughter had gone to a war torn area, together with a man that have previously been arrested in the same area and ended up in the American Guantanamo prison camp.

"The most important thing for me", Benaouda said, "was to find out why they didn't tell ME what they were doing. Of course I'm going to explode if I find out they are going to a completely different country to the one they told me they were going to in the beginning".

Benaouda also criticised the Swedish media's handling of the case. She said that her daughter had been shocked by all the headlines here in Sweden, adding it's not a crime to travel to Pakistan. She also said that her daughter denied the reason for the trip was to look for the Taliban, one of the many speculations in the Swedish press. They have been cleared of all accusations against them, she added, the only thing left is all the lies in the Swedish media.

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