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Jail for Refugees with False Passports

Published fredag 2 maj 2008 kl 12.11
Passport Controls at Skavsta

A Swedish human rights professor claims that police putting a refugee arriving with false documents in jail are violating the Geneva Convention.   

The professor claims that a refugee can not be punished for travelling with false documents as long as he makes it clear that he is applying for asylum and explains why he has had to flee from his home country with the documents he has.    

A Radio Sweden and Swedish Radio News report maintains that police have arbitrary rules when dealing with such immigrants and refugees – and that different treatment is given at different airports.

Those arriving at Skavsta airport outside of Stockholm run a much bigger risk of getting a 1-month jail sentence - even if asking for asylum - than those arriving at Stockholm’s Arlanda international airport.

If the refugee is able to get rid of his false papers before meeting the police,  he is far more certain to be sent straight to a refugee center rather than first to jail.

Some police say they are sad to see an asylum seeker put behind bars as the first reaction to his arrival, while other policemen say the rules have to be followed.

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