CAIRO/STOCKHOLM: Mohammed Alzery, an Egyptian citizen and former asylum seeker who in December 2001 was extradited to Egypt from Sweden along with fellow Egyptian Ahmed Agiza by the CIA on terrorism suspicions, is demanding the equivalent of nearly LE 23 million from Sweden in compensation for his suffering.
The 30 million Swedish Crowns, Alzery is petitioning for from the Swedish government is to serve the purpose of “partly repairing the damages the Swedish government has inflicted upon him, wrote his legal advisor Anna Wigenmark in a press statement.
“It has been extremely difficult to attribute a sum to what Alzery has been subject to. We have taken guidance from national decisions in different countries as well as from decisions in the European Court on human rights, said Wigenmark.
According to a press release issued by the Swedish Helsinki Committee, Alzery is demanding compensation for the “cruel and inhumane treatment he suffered at Bromma airfield in Sweden the day of his deportation. This is in addition to the extradition to Egypt, which resulted in the “robbing of his freedom during almost two years where he was subject to torture, abuse, and constant threats and harassment.
Sources argue that it is “highly likely that Sweden will await a similar demand of monetary compensation from Agiza; thus delaying the decision in the Alzery case until the fall.
The case of the two Egyptian asylum seekers has been cited by critics and rights groups as a “prime example of the controversial US policy of extraordinary rendition. This is the process whereby terror suspects are the objects of extrajudicial transfer from one state to another for interrogation, where the suspects are often tortured due to dubious human rights records of the states to which they are transferred.
Sweden’s former decision to deport the two Egyptians was based on promises from Egyptian authorities of humane treatment but they turned out to be a hard blow to the country’s nearly spotless human rights record, as both men claimed they were tortured and abused in Egypt.
Due to the strong critique, Sweden earlier this year revoked its former decision to extradite Alzery and Agiza.
In May, Sweden’s High Court of Migration denied Alzery’s application for Swedish residency based on arguments from the Swedish secret service that he constitutes a “safety risk to the nation.
“We will appeal this decision and it will be up to the Swedish government to decide whether he will be granted residency then, said Wigenmark.