”Tomorrow I could be dead” – Journalist to be expelled to Afghanistan
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Sweden’s Department of Foreign Affairs assesses the security situation in Afghanistan as being very dangerous, yet the Scandinavian country is planning to deport thousands of people, mostly children, there.
Tonight, journalist Wares Kahn is to be put on a plane to Kabul.
“Tomorrow I could be dead,” says a stressed Wares Kahn over the phone from the centre in Märsta where he is being held before his deportation, as the police search him.
He was told he had five minutes at the pick up his things. In a few hours he will be transported to Arlanda Airport and onward transport to Kabul in Afghanistan, the country he fled over ten year ago.
“I have to go now, the police are waiting at me, I’m being sent to my death,” he says.
As a journalist for Afghan TV among others, Wares Kahn has investigated the government as well as the Taliban, which has given him enemies in his home country. A short while ago a colleague of his was murdered.
– All my articles and films are a quick Google away. I will be killed by the Taliban,” he says.
In the background commanding voices can be heard, and Wares Kahn is ordered to quit conversing.
According to sources, a dozen people are to be deported from Sweden on a chartered plane a country Sweden’s foreign ministry advises categorically against travel to, and where it assess the security situation as very dangerous.
“I have lived ten year in Sweden, I speak fluent Swedish, I pay taxes, I’m Swedish! To be sent back makes me think that there is no democracy in Sweden, says Wares Kahn.
Outside the centre in Marsta, activists in the group # vistårinteut (We Can’t Stand Any More) hold a candlelight vigil in the hope that the deportations will be averted. From the outside they can see how those locked inside have lit a single candle to show that they have seen them.
“Many people feel terribly bad, some have almost given up,” says Sara Edvardson Ehrnborg, a member of the group.
Recently, they have worked hard to stop the expulsions because the Migration Service itself said as recently as last Thursday that the security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated and that in future it will be easier for Afghan asylum seeker to obtain protection in Sweden.
“But the border police keep working, regardless of what the Migration Board says,” Sara Edvardson Ehrnborg says.
In their latest report, the Migration Board says the security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated drastically, that the Taliban controls a third of the country and journalists singled out as a particularly vulnerable group. This year alone, nine journalists have been murdered.
“These people have no chance to appeal against the deportation order with the new security situation taken into account,” says Sara Edvardson Ehrnborg.
The network # vistårinteut has some 7500 people working with unaccompanied children and was formed only nine weeks ago. They are determined to influence Swedish migration policy, both long-term and in the immediate future.
“We can not stand it, that’s why we are,” says Edvardson Ehrnborg.
The Migration Court judgment justified the expulsion of Wares Khan by saying that he is not a trained journalist, he is not working in his home country, and that the threats he presented in writing should be seen as ”net hate”, and that the threats made against him may well be empty.
Wares Kahn’s final hope is that he does not have to board the plane to Kabul tonight.
From his window, he sees the police vans roll in.
“Thank you for calling. The police … say … that I have to go now.”