Amnesty International has on two occassions, in October 1985 and in August 1987,
expressed concern to your government about the case of nine Kurdish refugees who
have been under town arrest since 1984 as a result of an administrative order.
Your goverment has on both occations stated that it would not take any action as
a result of Amnesty International's intervention. We respectfully urge you,
again to reconsider their case.
Amnesty International's concerns relating to this case derive from article 1 (b)
of its Statute which sets out its mandate with respect to fair and prompt
trials. Article 1 (b) states that the organization shall oppose 'by all approriate means the detention of any prisoners of conscience or political
prisoners without trial within a reasonable time or any trial procedures
relating to such prisoners that do not conform to internationally recognized
In December 1984 the government decided that nine Kurdish refugees should be
deported from Sweden pursuant to Section 47 of the Aliens Act (1980:376) on the
grounds that they were suspected of being terrorists. Att the same time the
government decided that the expulsion order should not be deferred, as the nine
Kurds might face political persecution if returned to their country of origin.
As the expulsion order could not be carried out with immedeate effect your
government decided to impose certain restrictions on their freedom under
section 74 of the Act.
Now, four years after the restrictions of their freedom of movement were
imposed, the nine Kurds AA, NA, IC, HI, GK, HK, ES, MT and AU, remain under town
arrest. To comply with the administrative order they have to report three times
a week to the police and cannot leave or change their towns of residence without
prior permission from the police. Breach of any of these regulations may result
in imprisonment of up to one year. Your government did not give any indication
as to when these restrictions might be lifted.
On 19 May 1988, the Ministry of Labour issued a press release confirming once
more that the government had decided not to change its decision either on the
expulsion of the nine kurds or on the restrictions.
In September the Minister of Immigration [Georg Andersson] issued Committee
Directive 1988:49 in which he called for a review of the anti-terrorist
regulations in the aliens legislation ...
However, Amnesty International is concerned that despite the review, the nine
Kurdish refugees remain under town arrest and there appears to be no
possibility that the restrictions of their freedom of movement will be
reviewed by a judicial body. In the light of its continuing concerns, our
organization is seeking further clarification from you about the existing
procedures according to which the restrictions have been imposed upon the nine
Kurds as well as the procedures for review of such decisions.
Amnesty International notes that in December 1984 the government decided that a
number of Kurdish refugees should be expelled from Sweden in accordance with
Section 47 and Section 30 of the Aliens Act, on the grounds that they were
Would you please inform us whether any regulations or guidelines have been
issued to assist in the interpretation of of Section 30. What constitutes, for
example, 'good grounds' for assuming that a person belongs to or is working for
a terrorist organization? What are the criteria for determing precisely which
particular individuals it is feared will 'resort to violence, threats or
coercion to political ends' outside their home country?
If no such guidance has been given by your government, would you please inform
us if there are court rulings assisting the interpretation of Section 30.
We understand that your government's decision to expel the nine Kurds was
preceded by an inquiry held before the Stockholm District Court.
We note that the Minister of Immigration in Committe Directive 1988:49 stated
that the court shall not reach a decision or issue any statement upon completion
of the hearing. According to the Minister, the aim of the hearing is to promote
a thorough ivestigation of the case, and the minutes of the proceedings shall
become part of the goverment's decision. According to Section 60 of the Aliens
Act the alien shall be given given the opportunity to state his viewpoint and
to comment on the circumstances cited in the case against him.
Furthermore, this section provides that the inquiry shall be held in public if
the aliens so requests and the authority does not feel that that circumstances
demand otherwise. The Minister states in the same Directive that in cases where,
for reasons of secrecy, a document cannot be revealed to the alien
himself/herself (according to Chapter 14, paragraph 10 of the National Secrets
Act) his/her legal representative may be granted access to the information upon
The Minister also states that only in a few of the inquiries in respect of
terrorist cases held to date have documents been completely withheld from the
alien concerned. We furthermore note his comment that a public representative is
present during the hearing to safeguard the public interest and tat his/her
task is to ensure that all questions are posed in an all-round and exhaustive
manner. He also notes that the public representative is normally a member of the
National State Police Board.
However, the hearing in the case of the nine Kurdish refugees before the
Stockholm District Court was held in camera despite requests by their
representatives that it be held in public. These legal representatives have
stated that the hearing was more like interrogation than an investigation. The
members of National State Police Board, reportedly present in their capacity as
public representatives as well as investigators of the case, refused requests
made by the lawyers to give information for the basis of their suspicions
against the nine Kurds. Rather, the National Secrets Act had been invoked to
withhold information completely from them and from their legal representatives
on the grounds of national security.
Could you please inform us in which of the cases of the nine Kurds such
information was withheld, and on what grounds? Could you also inform us what
legal safeguards exist to ensure that the National Secrets Act is not invoked by
the authorities in an arbitrary manner? What were the exect reasons for
conducting the hearing in camera? We would furthermore like to know whether the
members of the National State Police Board who were present were members of the
Swedish Security Police (SAPO)..
The nine Kurds allege that they were not informed by the government about the
basis of the suspicions against them. Therefore we would like to know whether,
and if so how, the nine Kurds were informed..
Were they provided with a written statement setting out the grounds for the
suspicions against them? If so, did these statements enumerate specific
individualized reasons for imposing the restrictions?...
According to Section 73 of the Act the government shall re-examine its expulsion
order 'when there is cause to do so'... In a press release of 19 May 1988 issued
by the Ministry of Labour it was stated that that 'there are no indications that
any of those exepelled have changed his/her attitude to the PKK (Workers Party
of Kurdistan). Accordingly, there is no reason to change the decision taken by
the Government in December 1984...'
Did the persons on whom restrictions hade been placed have the opportunity ta
attend the review, to have their views heard and to have legal representation?
Were they informed about the reasons for continuation of restrictions. On what
grounds did the government decide that none of the nine Kurds had changed their
attitudes to the PKK?
We understand that a hearing will take place before the Supreme Court in the
cases of ... in which they will appeal against convictions for having breached
the regulations imposing restriction on their freedom of movement. We are told
that the lawyers for the two will argue, inter alia ... that the government's
decision was imposed in breach of Chapter 2 (9) of the Swedish Constitution.
This chapter gives anyone deprived of his liberty on suspicion of having
committed a crime, or for other reasons deprived of his liberty, the right to
have his case tried by a court without excessive dealy. The right is also
applicable to foreigners residing in Sweden.
Amnesty International is concerned about claims made by the lawyers of the nine
Kurds that they have not been able to challenge the legality of the restrictions
imposed on their clients before an independent court on the grounds that the
courts have decided that the restrictions are not considered to be deprivation
of liberty. In view of this, we would be grateful if you could inform us whether
any other procedure exists through which the legality of administrative orders
such as these can be challenged.
We look forward to receiving a reply to the above questions att your earliest