announced on Monday that it will temporarily cease all deportations of the Muslim minority group to China.mid growing concerns about the mass detention of Uighurs in Xinjiang, Sweden’s Migration Agency
In a statement obtained by AFP, the Migration Agency cited recent reports by human rights groups of the deteriorating situation in Xinjiang as grounds for the decision.
The Migration Agency specified that the revised policy will also apply retroactively to those who have recently been denied asylum and but have not yet been deported.
Swedish journalist Jojje Olsson reported in early September that a Uighur family of four was facing imminent deportation. Olsson explicates their case in considerable detail here. Monday’s announcement means that they will be able to stay in Sweden for now.
The family was apparently slated to become the first Uighur asylum seekers evicted from the typically refugee-friendly country in more than five years. Sweden had implemented a prior temporary stay on deportations in 2012, when it faced international blowback after becoming the first Western democracy to send Uighurs back to China.
The Migration Agency’s announcement comes as Sweden finds itself entangled in a strangediplomatic imbroglio with China, in which the Chinese embassy has accused Swedish police of “violating the basic human rights” of Chinese tourists.
[Images via the Associated Press]