A Scandal in Sweden
A Scandal in Sweden
In Sweden a political scandal with connection to the United states is unfolding. Sweden is a formally nonaligned country since almost two hundred years. In reality, however, Sweden has cooperated with the CIA and other western intelligence services for decades. But this is not well known among the swedish public; so when a documentary that were broadcasted last week broke the news that american agents have operated on swedish territory - and with the swedish government´s knowledge - it upset many swedes.
On the evening of december 18th 2001 a Gulf Stream 5 jet plane, with registration number N379P, took off from Bromma airbase, outside Stockholm. Destination Cairo. On board were two political refugees from Egypt, that had seeked asylum in Sweden, Ahmed Agiza and Muhammed al Zery. One were chained to the sealing, the other to the floor; they were blindfolded and just before take off some kind of medicin, proberbly a drug, had been inserted by suppository. In the air plane there were several disguised foreign agents - americans we now know.
A couple of hours earlier the Swedish government had taken the decesion to expell the two refugees, and thereby overrun the swedish migration authority´s decision. The reason for this was that the Swedish security police, SAPO, claimed to have information that bound the two refugees to terror organisations in Egypt and abroad. This information is classified, but we know that the information came from foreign intelligence services, and the known parts have been refused by experts.
However, there was a problem. Egypt is a notorious violator of human rights and the use of torture is well documented by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and others. To expell the men would mean that Sweden violated international law. So representatives from Sweden had visit Egypt and had brought about garantees from Egypt that the refugees were to be treated accordingly to Egypt constitution and that they would be given a fair trial. Swedish representatives would also be allowed to visit the men in jail. This garantee was of course worth nothing, and it did not clear the Swedish government, from the fact that they violated international law.
A couple of hours after the government made their decision, SAPO brought the men into costudy, and before they had any chance to appeal or even to contact their lawers, they were braught to Bromma airbased and handed over to the seven or eight american disguised agents, and to the two men, that according to one of the Swedish policemen, came from the US embassy.
In Egypt they were tortured - among other methods, electricity was used. Swedish representatives that met Agiza and al Zery reported that they suspected that the men had been tortured and abused, but the Swedish State department classified the report and to the UN the Swedish government vouched for Egypt, and claimed that Egypt followed the agreement. The government also lied to the Swedish parliment.
al Zery has been released, but Agiza were sentensed a month ago to 25 years by a military court, that according to Human Rights Watch does "not meet international fair trial standards". Agiza testified that he had been tortured, but the court refused to investigate his claims.
The plane whith the registration number N379P is owned by an american private company that have long time contract with the US defense department. CIA have admitted that they have conducted similar operations several times in different countries, sometimes with the acceptance of the countries, sometimes without. This perticular plane has been used in several other "kidnappings" around the world. It always starts its international journeys from Dulles, where CIA has its head quarter. The reason for these kidnappings is to bring alleged terrorists to allied countries where turture and other harsh methods can be used, and thereby avoid criticism of the kind we now see in the case of Iraq.
This is only one example of how the US war on terrorism has effected countries around the world. But actually there are intrests in Sweden and especially in the European Union (EU), that welcomed the war on terrorism. It allowed for a speeding up of the centralization and militarization of EU. This centralization and militarization is often claimed to be necessary if Europe are to become a counter weight to US world dominance. However what we are observering in Europe is also a process that dimmish ordinary people´s and the workers movement´s influence (an americanization, one may say). It is a direct effect of the centralization. This became very clear after september 11, when the european commission - without any political decision - accepted the lists of people and organisations that UN sanction committÃ© claimed to be terrorists, and several european citizens were declared outlaws. A new terror law has also been filed, and new definitions of terrorism has been accepted. With these new definitions hardly any of the anti colonial freedom movements would have passed if it had been in use during the sixties and seventies.