An employee of the Swedish Migration Board was demoted for expressing pro-Israel views on his blog. Lennart Eriksson has worked for the Board over the past 21 years and expressed views in support of Israel on his blog and condemned a counsel for the Board for terming Hamas as a “liberation movement.” His supervisor, Eugene Palmer, said, “of course everyone has a right to any opinion. However, when holding an upper-level management position at the Migration Board, one must be careful how one chooses to express private opinions in a public fashion.” Staffan Opitz, representing the Migration Board at a hearing in a court, termed Hamas as a “liberation movement.”
The issue is not whether or not Hamas is or is not a “liberation movement” since people from various perspectives hold differing views about Hamas. A statement by the Migration Board terming Hamas to be such a movement certainly raises questions about its own neutrality. A member of Parliament, Annelie Enochson points out the Migration Board stand contradicts the foreign policy of the Swedish government. Should leaders of the Migration Board be demoted?
Hamas is many things to many people. Certainly, Mr. Eriksson has a right to express his opinion just as the Migration Board has a right to take a stand. The only issue is does the Migration Board have any evidence the pro-Israel bias of Mr. Eriksson resulted in personal views leading to the denial of the rights of a person seeking a judgment from the Migration Board? Actions determine free speech, not free speech.
Although Sweden has done an outstanding jobs in accepting Iraq immigration, the Swedish Migration Board has a rather unusual concept of what is happening in Iraq. It turned down the application for political asylum from an 51 year-old Iraqi on ground the armed militias and terrorist groups in Iraq were not engaged in a full blown war against the government. It also cited recent American figures claiming the “surge” had led to a reduction in the number of deaths in Baghdad. The man, a Shiite, refused to take part in Shiite violence against Sunnis and was threatened with death. The Court decided since he was a Shiite and that group is the largest religious group in Iraq, the man belongs to a dominant religious faction!
Perhaps, the Swedish Migration Board might wish to hold future hearings in Baghdad concerning applications for asylum from Iraqis.Do any of these people read a newspaper?
Posted in Human Rights, Iraq, Iraq War, Multicultural, Muslims, Peace, Politics, War, World News
Tagged Iraq, Migration Board, Shiites, Sweden