In a decision that is as groundbreaking as it is insane, Sweden has now ruled that convicted criminals fleeing the prison sentence in their home country must be granted asylum in Sweden. It would be “inhumane” to send the criminals back to their home countries to serve their prison terms, because the standards of said prisons could be inferior.
No, I’m not making this up. Swedish news site Fria Tider, one of pioneers of non-leftist investigative journalism in Sweden, today uncovered the baffling court decision concerning a 47-year old Lebanese citizen facing a 14 year, 9 month prison sentence for a murder committed in his home country.
Mouin Adel Al-Samrout shot a man to death in 1999, which led to his arrest and conviction. But before the sentence was carried out, he managed to flee to Sweden later that year. His first application for asylum was denied and he was ordered to return to Lebanon.
Unfortunately, being denied asylum does not include forced deportation in Sweden; it merely means they boot you out from the courtroom and tell you to buy a ticket back home. To everyone’s tremendous surprise, many denied asylum seekers choose not to obey.
Al-Samrout decided to ignore the ruling and stayed as an illegal for several years, until he was caught up in a 2011 legal tussle concerning tax fraud and illegal tobacco sales with another arab immigrant (Al-Samrout was exonerated, his partner got 8 years in prison). As he had now re-surfaced, he quickly re-filed for asylum on the grounds that the prison sentence in Lebanon was “cruel and inhumane”.
At first, the Swedish migration bureau denied this application. But after appealing to the superior migration court, the decision was reversed. In it’s sparkling legalese the superior court writes:
“There are grounds to believe that Mouin Adel Al-Samrout, in the case of the execution of the criminal conviction placed upon him, runs the risk of inhumane or humiliating treatment.”
Thus there are grounds for granting regular criminals asylum under a special protection clause of the immigration law, formerly reserved for political dissidents threatened by torture and death by the dictators of their former countries.
With the superior court precedent set, Sweden has just announced to the world that it is now a safe haven for convicted murderers, rapists, terrorists and war criminals.
After a few years, legal residents can apply for Swedish citizenship. This gives them free access to the rest of EU, as well as a Swedish passport that allows visa-free travel in most of the world. For now, at least.
The ruling is publicly available per the Swedish court system. Case number is UM 3428-12, migration bureau file number 9-862420.