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Swedish door still open for Afghan interpreters

Published onsdag 17 juli 2013 kl 18.28
Swedish forces who have returned from Afghanistan, where a group of interpreters contracted and employed by Sweden have asked for asylum here. File photo: Pontus Lundahl / Scanpix

The Afghan interpreters who have served Swedish forces in Afghanistan and sought asylum here could be employed by the military or brought here on a special refugee quota once the Swedish mission concludes next year, news agency TT reports.

Twenty-four interpreters said last summer they want asylum in Sweden for fear of retaliations by Taliban forces once the Swedish mission in Afghanistan comes to an end.

A work group comprised of people from the military, the Migration Board and the defence and justice ministries have considered Sweden's options for handling the group's request.

"The military's main focus is to help these people in Afghanistan, but there may be people who, due to the security situation, won't be able to utilize those solutions," says Fredrik Bengtsson, head of press at the Migration Board, before stating that the group might be taken to Sweden on a special refugee quota.

The Green Party's military spokesperson, Peter Rådberg, wants an exemption to be granted the Afghan interpreters, which Pål Wrange, a doctor in international law at Stockholm University, says is possible. "The government can let anyone enter the country. Personally, I think they should be granted asylum since they have served the Swedish military. That's mostly on moral grounds," Wrange tells TT.

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