Refugees Express Sadness At Swedish Surveillance Law

Bangladeshi refugee and writer Tasneem Khalil expressed his sadness at recent actions of the Swedish legislature to pass a bill allowing government officials to spy on citizens. “On a personal level,” says Khalil, “I find it ironic that on June 18, 2008, exactly one year after my family and I were granted political asylum in Sweden, the Riksdag(parliament) passed a draconian surveillance law…I dout that the 143 Riksdag members who voted in favor of the bill will ever be able to understand how I feel. Swedes do not have to watch their back while walking the streets, or invent coded langauge for talking to their wives over telephone or use cryptic sentences in their emails… Back in Bangladesh, I was under constant surveillance for months. I was followed by operatives, my phones were tapped and my office computer was bugged. I was arrested in my home after midnight, blindfolded and tortured at the hands of the Bangladesh military intelligence. One of the most unnerving aspects of these interrogation sessions was to have to sit on a torture bench with my eyes covered while someone described very private details of my life…”

Many refugees in Sweden are disappointed that a nation which offered them freedom lacked the belief in its own democracy and moved into the mode of surveillance against its own citizens. As Khalil notes: “if a democratically eleced parliament empowers an agency to carry out mass-surveillance, that is an even greater disaster.”

  • andar909

    hi, andar here, i just read your post. i like very much. agree to you, sir.

  • Fred Stopsky

    Glad to have you. Please feel free to comment.