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MPs Criticize Government’s Guantanamo Policy

Published fredag 23 januari 2009 kl 12.35
Tobias Billström, Minister for Migration

Swedish MPs are critical to the evasive stance taken by the government on the issue of the relocation of innocent Guantanamo prisoners. So far, Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has passed the issue to Minister for Migration Tobias Billström.  

In an interview with Swedish Newspaper DN, Billström refers to the Swedish Alien’s Act. The Act states that the Ministry for Migration has to await a request from the UN refugee agency UNHCR, before accepting the prisoners as quota refugees. There is no other scope within Swedish law to accept the prisoners into the country, Billström says to DN.

Critics say that this is not an everyday refugee issue, and that the EU countries, all very active in denouncing the US treatment of the prisoners, now should play an active part in solving the situation.

However, Billström claims to be tired of tidying up the mess left by the US. He stated in a parliamentary debate last week that he would like to see America dealing with its own cleaning first, according to DN.

Foreign minister Bildt wrote on his blog last night that it is important to remember that in Sweden it is the Board of Migration that decides about entry to the country – not the Government.

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