13:34 GMT +312 November 2019
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    Sweden Refuses to Deport Migrant Who Posed With Corpses for Humanitarian Reasons

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    Europe's Refugee and Migrant Crisis (196)

    A 32-year-old Syrian citizen previously caught on camera posing with dead bodies has been sentenced to eight months in a Swedish prison for severe violations of human rights. Nevertheless, the prosecutor's deportation request was denied to due to the risk of torture in his country of origin.

    The Syrian man, who came to Sweden in 2015 and sought asylum, was convicted by Södertörn's District Court for posing with five people who were either dead or rendered incapacitated and looked lifeless to eight months in prison.

    Nevertheless, the man's asylum application is still under investigation at the Swedish Migration Board, as the prosecution's request that the man be expelled from Sweden was specifically ruled out for humanitarian reasons, as it was argued that the man possibly faced torture in his home country, the Swedish daily Aftonbladet reported.

    The offence was reportedly committed in the vicinity Damascus in 2014. One of the pictures shows the man in a military uniform putting his foot on the stomach on one of the bodies, while the other four were piled up on the ground nearby. According to the court, the man was fully aware that the image was taken for propaganda purposes. The image was investigated by the National Forensic Center, which concluded that it was genuine and not manipulated. The defense asserted that the act did not constitute a human rights violation and claimed that the defendant would have been executed if he refused.

    "Judging by his actions, the man exposed the five persons, all of whom were protected by international humanitarian law in armed conflicts, to humiliating and degrading treatment aimed at seriously violating their personal dignity," the court ruled, rejecting the man's own claim to have merely "obeyed the orders" from his superiors.

    At the same time, the request for the man's expulsion was dismissed because of the current situation in Syria, where he may possibly face the risk of persecution and torture.

    "The Migration Board has estimated that the current situation in Syria is such that anyone coming from there is at risk of being treated in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention [Prohibition of Torture], which poses barriers to the enforcement of deportation," the judgment read.

    Furthermore, the Syrian man may be granted a conditional release in about three months, and there is no evidence that expulsion may be carried out at that point either, the court ruled. At present, the man's asylum application in Sweden is still under investigation.

    This is not the first time Sweden has exhibited surprising leniency. Earlier in September, an investigation into a North African-born man suspected of being a prominent figure in jihadi circles was notoriously canceled, despite the fact that seven swords, military helmets, field glasses and Daesh propaganda were found at his home. The man claimed that the swords belonged to a fakir. In May, the man was sentenced for one month in prison for having threatened a Swedish social worker. Subsequently, Daesh logotypes were found on his cell phone, Metro reported.

    Europe's Refugee and Migrant Crisis (196)


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    migrant crisis, human rights, war crimes, Scandinavia, Sweden, Syria
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