Asylum seekers threaten hunger strike

0:29 min

A group of 30 asylum seekers spent the night in a cold bus outside a reception centre in the woods south Östersund in central Sweden. They do not want to move into the centre, but demand to be returned to Malmö.

The tabloid Aftonbladet reports that 32 asylum seekers have spent the night in the bus.

"It was very cold. The two doors of the bus are open and cannot be closed," 35-year-old Moaweyh Ramliy told Aftonbladet. He is one of those who spent the night in the bus.

On Wednesday, Swedish Radio Jämtland spoke to some of the 40 or so asylum seekers, who had arrived on the bus earlier in the day. They said they had not been told where they were going. As they entered the bus in Malmö, in southern Sweden, they expected to be taken to Stockholm, or "max 40 minutes outside" the capital, one of the asylum seekers told the reporter. Instead they spent 15 hours on the bus, arriving to the dark and the cold in village 20 kilometres south of Östersund, where a former military barracks have been turned into a refugee reception centre.

"They lied to us, we asked many people to give us more information and they didn't tell us anything," one of the asylum seekers told Swedish Radio P4 Jämtland on Wednesday evening.

Migration Board staff arrived at the scene late on Wednesday to enter into dialogue with the asylum seekers. A few hours before midnight, the news agency TT reported that about ten asylum seekers had chosen to move from the bus into the refugee reception centre, and three asylum seekers had managed to arrange somewhere else to stay.

Aftonbladet reports that some of the people who have spent the night in the bus have accepted to come into the reception centre to get some food and to warm up. Others are talking about staging a hunger strike, unless they are brought back to Malmö, Sweden's third city located in the south.

On Thursday afternoon, police in Jämtland issued a statement to day that another 5 people of those who had spent the night in the bus had decided to move into the reception centre. "Negotiations will start again tomorrow (=Friday), with the remaining people who are dissatisfied," Bengt Stadin with the Jämtland Police wrote in a statement on their website.

Asylum seekers who come to Sweden do not have the right to choose themselves where they are placed but are offered accommodation wherever it is available. If they do not accept what is offered, the asylum seekers are free to decline the accommodation and find their own homes instea

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