Sweden won't return people linked to failed Turkey coup

AP News
Posted: Aug 03, 2016 7:41 AM
Sweden won't return people linked to failed Turkey coup

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Sweden won't send back failed asylum-seekers from Turkey with "reliable connections" to the attempted coup in that country, authorities said Wednesday.

Swedish migration agency Migrationsverket said that "these are supporters of opposition leader Fethullah Gulen," the U.S.-based Muslim cleric that Turkey blames for the July 15 coup attempt.

Asylum-seekers with "credible political opposition activities" also are included in "the risk groups," Migrationsverket said. It didn't put any figures on how many people who may fall into those categories.

Sweden doesn't rank countries as safe or unsafe when it comes to repatriating asylum-seekers, but instead decides cases on an individual basis, Migrationsverket spokeswoman Guna Graufelds said.

The Scandinavian country has received 172 asylum-seekers from Turkey this year. Last year, the figure was 253. Graufelds said the agency couldn't provide a breakdown on asylum-seekers' political affiliations.

The agency says it needs "further information on the current situation" in Turkey. The decision was made three days after the coup attempt and made public Wednesday.

Since the failed coup, the Turkish government has launched a sweeping crackdown on Gulen's movement, which it characterizes as a terrorist organization.

There was no immediate Turkish reaction to the decision by the Swedish migration agency.