Compensation for Ahmed Agiza – but only part way

Chancellor of Justice Göran Lambertz has ruled that Sweden must pay SEK 3 million in compensation to Ahmed Agiza who was expelled from Sweden on 18 December 2001. The decision follows conciliation talks between the Chancellor and the Swedish Helsinki Committee, which was representing Agiza. The compensation relates to human rights violations suffered by Agiza as a result of the actions of Sweden. However, the Chancellor of Justice does not accept that Sweden is responsible for Ahmed Agiza’s separation from his wife and children and his present lack of legal protection

As in the case of Mohammed Alzery, who was expelled with Agiza, and whose compensation settlement was finalised by the Chancellor of Justice in July this year, the judgement was largely based on Swedish tort law

–    Although the amount is high by Swedish standards, we believe the Chancellor of Justice should have paid greater attention to international law and raised the compensation level, says Robert Hårdh, Swedish Helsinki Committee Secretary General.

According to the Chancellor of Justice, Sweden cannot be held responsible for the fact that Agiza was subjected to a summary and unfair trial, without the possibility of appeal, after his expulsion. The Chancellor has also judged that Sweden is not responsible for the separation of Agiza from his family following the government’s unsound expulsion decision. The Swedish Helsinki Committee does not share this view.

–    We are very disappointed that Agiza did not receive any compensation whatsoever for the violations of his family life and right to a fair trial, says Swedish Helsinki Committee human rights lawyer Anna Wigenmark, who adds that Agiza is undergoing immense suffering from these injustices

In April 2004, Ahmed Agiza was tried before a military court. He was not allowed to call his own witnesses, had no access to evidence and was not given the chance to cross-examine witnesses. In addition, statements obtained under torture were used as evidence during the trial. Agiza was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment without the possibility of appeal. His request for a new trial was ignored. Agiza’s sentence was subsequently reduced to 15 years.

–    The government at that time knew Agiza would be brought before a military court and tried summarily. Sweden is therefore clearly responsible for the situation in which Agiza currently finds himself, says Anna Wigenmark. A state, which is responsible for a violation of human rights, has an obligation to restore the victim to his situation before the violation. The government must therefore allow Agiza to return to Sweden where he can be reunited with his family and have his torture injures treated, she continues.

–    Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt should apologise to Ahmed Agiza and his family on behalf of Sweden and the government for the suffering the state has caused them, concludes Robert Hårdh.

Footnote: Ahmed Agiza and Mohammed Alzery were expelled from Sweden on 18 December 2001 following a decision by the government. The expulsions are said to have been executed by the Swedish Security Service, which, without any legal basis, placed the assignment in the hands of US intelligence agency the CIA, and by Egyptian security agents. Agiza and Alzery were subjected to degrading and inhuman treatment at Bromma airport. On their transfer to the Egyptian authorities, they suffered torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, including electric shock torture. Agiza’s family has a residence permit in Sweden.?

Categories: Achievements.
Tags: Ahmed Agiza, Expulsion, Göran Lambertz, and Mohammed Alzery.
Regions: Sweden.