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Calls for Sweden not to deport Egypt doctor ‘facing execution’

June 7, 2023 at 5:20 pm

Doctors, supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, demonstrate on September 7, 2013 to ask for freedom for doctors in Egypt [KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images]

A doctor wanted by Egyptian authorities is in imminent danger of deportation from Sweden after the rejection of her asylum claim, in a move which would endanger her life if she is to be forcefully returned.

Following the military coup of 2013 and the overthrow of democratically-elected former Egyptian President, Mohammed Morsi, Dr Hend “had sought asylum in Sweden over fears of persecution, torture and being subjected to the death penalty” back in Egypt, the UK-based rights advocacy group, CAGE, told Middle East Monitor.

She reportedly has an arrest warrant against her by the Egyptian government of Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, for the alleged crime of providing emergency medical aid to peaceful protestors harmed by Egyptian authorities, supposedly during the 2013 military coup.

Cairo has executed others accused of the same actions, giving Dr Hend genuine reason to fear that she would face the same sentence upon her return.

READ: Egypt increased death sentences in 2022, says rights group

Despite her years in Sweden and the danger she faces at the hands of the current Egyptian government, she was informed by Swedish authorities in October last year that her asylum claim had again been rejected. Stockholm has reportedly rejected an appeal by Dr Hend and her family, and is set to pursue its decision to deport her to Egypt.

Calling the asylum rejection and deportation order a violation of Sweden’s international obligations under the commitment against torture, it is reportedly not the first such violation by Stockholm, particularly against the doctor’s family. Back in 2001, her husband, Ahmed Agiza, also had his asylum rejected and was subjected to rendition to Egypt at the demands of the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

He was then brutally tortured and imprisoned for 11 years, with the torture and rampant mistreatment having left him permanently disabled. Following his release and return to Sweden, and as a result of the Nordic country’s complicity in his torture, he now reportedly receives compensation from the Swedish government and permanent residency for him and his family.

According to CAGE, Dr Hend would most likely face the same or similar treatment if she is forcefully returned to Egypt by Swedish authorities, making the acceptance of her asylum status an urgent human rights matter.

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