Independant observers

EU wants more openness at forced deportations

4:25 min

The European Union wants Sweden to be more open when it comes to the forced deportations of people whose asylum application has failed. The European agency for border control Frontex demands there are independent observers on the planes bringing people out of the country.

Demonstrators have gathered several times this year outside the refugee custodies close to Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö, protesting against the forced deportations of Iraqis.

So far this year, some 2600 people have been deported from Sweden because their asylum application were rejected. Many of them were sent back to Iraq.

The deportations are surrounded by secrecy. This is partly to avoid confrontation with protesters, says Sören Clerton, head of border police at the National Police Board.

But some of the activists think it is more to it. Swedish Radio spoke to Kim, who said: "The flights often take place in the middle of the night, they are tied and hooded - they are very harshly treated by the police".

Now the Eu's agency for border control Frontex - which is also involved in coordinating and paying for some of the deportations - demands that Sweden and other countries fully adopt the Eus Returns Directive and has independent observers with the deportees - in custody as well as with them on the planes bringing them out of the country.

Swedish Red Cross welcomes the move. "It is necessary to have a body that indenpendently sees how the authorities carry out this kind of deportations in order to make it more legitimate," Alexandra Segenstedt, migration advisor at the Swedish Red Cross.

Even the police can see some positive effects of having independent observers involved in the process. "If it will be a discussion afterwards, for example the police officers have been blamed to use more force than necessary, it could be good if a more neutral part could express their observations," says Sören Clerton, head of the border police.

The Swedish police is currently looking into how a system with independent observers could work, looking at solutions in other countries, and ideas coming out of the EU agency Frontex.