Fucked up

Two days ago I visited Hala, a 30 year old mother of three and an asylum seeker who currently lives in a small city near Stockholm. Hala was forced to flee Irak with her husband and three children in 2015. The whole family had been threatened to death by a man with high position in the military and strong connections within local authorities. Two hours after they fled their home, neighbours witness military trucks rolling up to the house, armed men crushing all windows, and breaking through the front door. If we had stayed for two more hours, the children and I would have been dead now, Hala says. The family fled Irak though Turkey, by boat to Greece, train through Europe and by foot over some borders until they finally reached Sweden. 


Just a few days before my visit the family got their second rejection from the Swedish migration office where they have applied for asylum. They now have only one more chance to raise appeal before all is written in stone. I asked Hala: Do you have any hope for the third try? She answered me: Actually I don't.  She looked ashamed for not believing. But I understand her. The chances are extremely small. I said. I understand, but I will hope for you.


While reading through the acts with the motivation of the rejection I was completely stunned. The migration department used the fact that their own evaluation found that the city authorities in the families home town should be stable and well functioning enough to grant the family's safety as main argument for sending the family back. I felt sick when I two times in the text found the phrase "the well being of the children has been taken in consideration in this investigation". The strongest proof the family had provided that it wouldn't be safe for them to return, was hand written and signed letters from city officials. The migration agency stated that the strength of these proofs is so low that they wont even mind translating them to Swedish.


We never wanted to leave our country, Hala says. It is a beautiful country. My husband was a rich man and there were many years that we had the opportunity to leave if we would have wanted to. But we love our country. Now we don't have a choice anymore. They have our names on the airports and if we return the will get us. We can't go back.




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