175770 10/29/2008 15:17 08STOCKHOLM722 Embassy Stockholm SECRET 07STOCKHOLM368|08STATE106853 VZCZCXYZ0000 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHSM #0722/01 3031517 ZNY SSSSS ZZH O 291517Z OCT 08 FM AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM TO RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA IMMEDIATE 0152 RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS IMMEDIATE 0099 RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE IMMEDIATE 0001 RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN IMMEDIATE 0450 RUEHSL/AMEMBASSY BRATISLAVA IMMEDIATE 0117 RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE 4591 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST IMMEDIATE 0391 RUEHUP/AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST IMMEDIATE 0077 RUEHCH/AMEMBASSY CHISINAU IMMEDIATE 0030 RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN IMMEDIATE 3165 RUEHDO/AMEMBASSY DOHA IMMEDIATE 0060 RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI IMMEDIATE 0328 RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV IMMEDIATE 0015 RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON IMMEDIATE 0180 RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID IMMEDIATE 2190 RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO IMMEDIATE 2498 RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE 0296 RUEHPG/AMEMBASSY PRAGUE IMMEDIATE 0961 RUEHRK/AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK IMMEDIATE 0087 RUEHRA/AMEMBASSY RIGA IMMEDIATE 0864 RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH IMMEDIATE 0105 RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME IMMEDIATE 0389 RUEHSQ/AMEMBASSY SKOPJE IMMEDIATE 0124 RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA IMMEDIATE 0476 RUEHTL/AMEMBASSY TALLINN IMMEDIATE 2315 RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE IMMEDIATE 3812 RUEHTI/AMEMBASSY TIRANA IMMEDIATE 0145 RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA IMMEDIATE 0268 RUEHWR/AMEMBASSY WARSAW IMMEDIATE 2376 RUEHYE/AMEMBASSY YEREVAN IMMEDIATE 0023 RUEHVB/AMEMBASSY ZAGREB IMMEDIATE 0309 RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3845 S E C R E T STOCKHOLM 000722
NEA/IPA FOR SARAH HANKINS
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/27/2018 TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PTER, PHUM, MOPS, KAWK, KISL, KPAO, SW SUBJECT: SWEDEN ON PALESTINIAN DETAINEE AT GUANTANAMO
REF: A. STATE 106853 B. 2007 STOCKHOLM 368
Classified By: POL Counselor Marc Koehler for reasons 1.4 (B) & (D).
1. (S) This is an action request. Please see para 7.
2. (S) Summary: The Swedish Migration Board (SMB) appears interested in learning more about Detainee 049 based on comments made in an October 27 meeting with Emboffs. A "formal" written request is more effective within the Swedish bureaucracy, according to SMB, and USG agencies should consider a direct approach to the Swedish Embassy in Washington, which is authorized to refer cases directly to the SMB. End Summary.
3. (S) POL Counselor delivered ref A demarche on October 14 to MFA Americas' Desk Officer Jemina Holmberg and MFA's Security Policy Division Director Nils Daag. Both pledged to brief the request up their chains as there would be "political interest" in such a case. Holmberg contacted us on October 15 and reported that we should also meet with the independent SMB, which would have primary responsibility for processing such a request.
4. (S) POL Counselor and Poloff met with the SMB's Chief of the Asylum and Refugee Unit Oscar Ekblad and Senior Refugee Quota Coordinator Ruben Ahlvin to deliver ref A demarche on October 27. Ekblad responded that the SMB is bound by law to accept references only from the UNHCR or Swedish embassies, although in "extremely special" cases, the Government could direct the independent SMB to consider a specific request. (Comment: Despite MFA interlocutors telling us in the past that it would be "difficult" to intervene "politically" with the work of the SMB, as in ref B, Ekblad explicitly noted that possibility. Accordingly, we will look for an opportunity to raise the matter again at senior levels with the Government. End comment.) On his way out the door, Ekblad pointedly reiterated that a Swedish embassy overseas was authorized to submit a request to the SMB, and in response to a question, he affirmed that the Swedish Embassy in Washington could directly refer a request for a Guantanamo detainee.
5. (S) Ekblad also stated that he would report our demarche on Detainee 049 to Carin Bratt, Deputy Director for Migration and Asylum Issues in the Ministry of Justice, during a meeting scheduled for October 28. He indicated that if this case were to "proceed," a follow-up face-to-face meeting between Emboffs and MoJ would most likely be necessary. He indicated that a "formal" request in writing would be more effective than past "informal" approaches related to other Guantanamo detainees. In that context, he asked for Post to obtain information, preferably in writing, about why Detainee 049 could not be returned to Gaza and what the risk of persecution would be for him there. While Ekblad stopped short of asking for additional information on the detainee himself pending the outcome of his meeting at MoJ, he stated that the Swedish Security Police, SAPO, would need such -- including any ties to political organizations -- to be able to run background checks.
6. (S) Ahlvin and Ekblad noted that Sweden has never accepted Guantanamo detainees before, and noted the "sensitive" case of Adil Hakimjan, an ethnic Uighur who had been resettled in Albania but applied for asylum in Sweden several months ago. Because he had already obtained residency in Albania, his application was denied in June and his appeal was denied this month. Nonetheless, there has been "public outcry" over the denial, which could "inform the environment" in which this request is received. Therefore, while the case of Detainee 049 will be considered in a "friendly environment," in light of the current situation, it could still be a "hard sell" that would need "political support," Ekblad said.
7. (S) Comment and Action Request: Ekblad indirectly but repeatedly suggested that Washington agencies request the Swedish Embassy to consider Detainee 049 for asylum in Sweden. Any such request should be "formal" and preferably in writing, he implied. He also asked for additional information, in written form, on the reasons for Detainee 049's fear of persecution in Gaza.
-- Action request 1: Post suggests Washington agencies consider a direct approach to the Swedish mission in Washington regarding Detainee 049.
-- Action request 2: Post requests Department provide additional information on risks of persecution Detainee 049 might face in Gaza.
End Comment and Action Request. WOOD