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Afghanistan

Minister: "Swedish Troops Were Right"

Published torsdag 27 augusti 2009 kl 16.13
Swedish troops in Afghanistan

Updated 18:33

Swedish foreign minister Sten Tolgfors has defended the actions of the Swedish troops in Afghanistan, who have been accused by Amnesty of not following international law when they handed over a captured prisoner to the Afghan authorities.

Tolgfors says that the Swedish authorities will follow up what has happened to the prisoner in co-operation with the Foreign Ministy. He adds however that the Swedish troops won't be able to detain the Afghan combatants they catch themselves, saying the troops are there under the invitation of the Afghan government together with troops from other countries and the Afghan police.

Handing a hostile fighter over to the Afghan authorities is a breach of international law, according to Lise Bergh, general secretary of Amnesty International in Sweden, since there is evidence that prisoners are tortured and maltreated in Afghanistan.

It was in July that the Swedish force in Afghanistan was shot at and shot back, and they then took the injured opponent to a German field hospital. A few weeks later, they were ordered by the commanders of the international force in Afghanistan, ISAF, to move him to the field hospital of the Afghan Military. And it is this that Amnesty criticises, due to the situation in Afghan custody and prisons.

The man is still in hospital and Olof Granander, the Commander in Chief for the Swedish Forces in Afghanistan, says that he has made sure that the International Red Cross, the ICRC is keeping an eye on him.

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