The young Afghan asylum seekers’ life in Europe: In the beginning, they were so welcomed, as the Prime Minister said in a speech in September 2015. After a year the same person made laws that opened the doors for deportation, and children being split away from their families. Young fathers had been forced to be deported from Sweden, being separated from their small babies. Here I will enclose stories of three young Afghans, who have suffered for years in Sweden, and yet, face a futureless journey.
Abdul Rahim (hypothetical name) was 16 years old when he came to Sweden in 2015. He ran away from Afghanistan at the age of 13 years old. He lived in Iran for two years before he moved to Sweden. In the beginning, he could go to school, learn Swedish and read all the main subjects intoduced at their school. He had a good place to live, with other youths in the same situation, and later on in a Swedish family.
He met nice, friendly, and loving people from a church that helped him a lot. He then became a Christian after a while. His first immigration result came in negative, which was after 14 months – at the time the Swedish government made a law that all who have waited longer than 15 months could have the opportunity to get a residence permit for a determined time for studies. So Rahim was “unlucky” to get the answer too quickly. Even if he had good contact with a lawyer – nothing helped. Rahim ended up in a custody.
“It was like going from heaven to hell. I thought I came to jail in Turkey, all the love and respect that I met before from people was gone. We were locked in and could just go out in a small yard for one hour every day. They said they had a gym but there was no equipment there. The staff in the custody were more violent than they needed to be. I sat there for 9 months before they deported me to Kabul, like a prisoner together with 5-8 policemen even if none of us – three who were deported – had made a crime,” Rahim said.
Rahim had a very hard time talking about this; it really was chocking and a very inhumane treat, especially in a country that has been treating asylum seekers in a very proper and nice way before.
Mustafa Haidari (hypothetical name) came to Sweden in 2015 from Iran, where he had lived some years. Everything was good at the beginning. He got friends, went to school and study hard and learned the Swedish Language really well. He was an active boy in the volleyball team.
His first refusal came after 13 months in Sweden, too short time, so he could not search for the new law. He got help to go to a court with obstacles to enforcement to try to be able to stay. At the beginning of summer 2020, he decided to go to France and try there instead, because France is the only country that says Afghanistan has war and more likely accept immigrants. Many youths that got negative results in Sweden have gone to France, and some lived in tents under a big bridge in a camp.
European countries have an agreement that if someone has the fingerprints in one country that is the country you have to be in. Haidari was Dublin, as they call it. France wanted first to deport him back to Sweden but it was something that made France regret. But even now he doesn’t know what the outcome will be, he only knows he is going to the court in France pretty soon.
Sajjat Ali (hypothetical name) came to Sweden at the age of fifteen. At first, he got a nice place to live in, together with other young boys. After a while, they saw that he could live in his own apartment together with other guys. All of a sudden Swedish migration board began to test the age of all the youth. They had to do an x-ray both on teeth and knees. The migration board found that Ali was not the age he had said. He was older.
The migration board did that to many people because there is a law that says you cannot deport a young person under 18 years old if they do not have a family to take care of them in Kabul. The migration board put Ali in a place with adult asylum seekers instead, which was heavily guarded all the time; not to protect them but to hit them and force them to sit inside their room after 20 o’clock.
Ali has a big trauma since he was a child with many traumatic experiences that stuck into his brain. He was so afraid, couldn’t sleep or eat. I had to rent a small apartment for him, so he and his friend could move to. You know, as a refugee you cant rent a house, you cant have a bank account, you can’t get any help at the hospital if you are sick. We tried our best, as I helped him a lot to deal with all his traumatic experiences.
He was one of the “lucky one” that had the refusal after 15 months, which gave him the right to apply for a residence permit during the studies. His studies lead him to a chef in a restaurant. After he finished his studies, he had six months to get a permanent job. If he can do that, he will have the opportunity to get permanent residence. In Sweden today it is very hard to get a permanent job, so time will reveal how his story ends. If he doesn’t get a job, he will be deported to Afghanistan, where he never has been in all his life. He was born in Iran.
As you can see Sweden contravenes its own laws in many cases of the human rights that Sweden has signed. There are 30 articles that say everyone is free and equal in dignity and rights, everyone has the same rights regardless of their race, color, religion, sexual orientation, and political views. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security. No one should be a slave, no one should be subjected to torture or face degrading treatment or punishment.
Everyone is equal before the law and should have equal protection against any discrimination, no one should be arbitrary arrested. Everyone also should have the freedom to think and change religion and should be able to practice their beliefs freely. Everyone has the right to marry the one he/she wants and the family is the fundamental unit group in the society and needs protection.
Hence, it is against the law to send a Christian to a country where it is full of risks – he or she will be tortured. It is also a crime to split families and to send children to a country where the security is lacking. Sweden forced to deport 500 young people in 2019, who adopted new culture, learned a new language and could be a great resource to the society if they got a chance to live in.