People protesting against the deportations on Tuesday night.
Credit: Thomas Johansson/TT

Afghan ministry: deportees from Sweden get little help

Afghan Ministry: For forced returnees the help is much less.
2:56 min

Ten Afghans whose asylum applications have been rejected by Sweden were forcibly returned to Kabul on Wednesday. Hafiz Ahmad Miakhel, spokesman for the Afghan migration ministry, is unsure of what, if any, help they received.

"Most of the voluntary returnees receive assistance, but in the case of forcible return, much less," he said. "Maybe some host country help them."

He also suggested that the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) might have a program for forced returnees. 

Miakhel confirmed that a charter plane carrying 21 rejected refugees, eleven from Austria and ten from Sweden arrived in Kabul on Wednesday morning.  

He said one of the returnees had not been accepted by Afghanistan and had been returned.

"One the deportees was sick and because of that, the Afghan government has rejected that person," he said. 

According to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper the sick asylum seeker was returned to Sweden. 

Patrick Engström, head of Sweden's border police, told the newspaper that such return trips generated additional costs because the refugees needed to be returned on a regularly scheduled flight.

Miakhel said that the Afghan government was still waiting for €39m in funding promised by the European Union. 

Seven of those scheduled to be forcibly returned on a flight from Gothenburg's Landvetter airport on Tuesday got a last minute reprieve. The Migration court in Luleå stopped two of the deportations on the grounds that the deportees had converted to Christianity. A further five were allowed to stay for other reasons.

Viktor Banke, a lawyer who represented three of those allowed to stay, said it was good that deportations could be stopped at such a late stage. 

"There's seldom something which suddenly comes up on the final day," he said. "It can be a cumulative effect of several things which all come together."

Around a hundred people mounted a protest against the deportations outside the Kållared detention centre south of Gothenburg on Tuesday, with around 20 sitting in front of the bus in an attempt to stop it departing. Two police officers sustained mild injuries.


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