"TO ME THERE IS NO OTHER CHOICE-RAOUL WALLENBERG 1912-2012"
This is the name of an exhibit travelling in Europe and the USA this year, in commemoration of R Wallenberg a Swedish Diplomat who through speedy decision making and great courage in a critical time, managed to save Tens of Thousands of Jews from death, in the latter stages of the 2nd World War in Budapest Hungary.
This year The No 12 Tribune is questioning Europe about its refugee politics. Authentic witness stories are read aloud before a Jury of well known Intellectuals like Henning Mankell,and Nawal El Saadawi. The question asked is "IS EUROPE BREAKING THE HUMAN RIGHTS LAW."?
Here is one 16 year old Somalian boys story.
One day rebels came to his mother and said " we need your boy "! He was helped to escape to Kenya then Sudan then Libya and from there by boat to Malta. A tough boat trip with 150 or so people hungry, many had no food for 10 days and he did not believe he would survive. On arrival in Malta they were handcuffed like animals and told to leave fingerprints. Those who did not want to were forced to do so, they were beaten with sticks and electric chock instruments then locked into a small cell. In this boys cell there were 15 people for 6 MONTHS. an unbelieable experience of sleeping on the floor, having very little clothing, cold throughout his entire body, used to do hard labor, and at night often awoken by strong flashlights beamed at them, some of them raped.
When finally let go had no clue what to do. While walking on a street with a friend a car pulled over, they ran but his friend not quick enough and he was so beaten up lost all his teeth, blood everywhere,neither of them understood at first that their skin colour was a problem.The police brought his friend to the hospital but NO investigation whatsoever was made, and he was so scared then all the time feeling he would have been better off dying in his own country than there. No one informed them ever of anything like the fact that the law says that you must seek Asylum in the first country you come to in Europe.They met No Laywers re Asylum only soldiers and Dogs
This Tribune is also discussing the situation for People who are smuggled, Trafficking, Unaccompanied children and protection from them being sent back to their country, like the 16 yer old above. An American delegate questioned as to whether these types of Violations (like boys story above) are always happening, or are things different today than earlier? She was informed that in earlier days the General Public´s opinion of "illegal immigrants"* was kinder but that now people were more inclined to accept their governments "getting out of its responsibilities"
Personally i have had the great joy of teaching refugees Swedish for the past 6 years or so. One Somalian lady told me how she was kidnapped (to extract money from her family) by rebels and during time she was held hostage she was raped and she showed me the burn marks all over her neck and chest from cigarettes. So i am well aware that the 16 year old boys story above of treatment in Malta is the Truth.
Sweden has in fact more refugees from War Worlwide than any other country in the so called "Western World" and We Swedes should be enormously proud of this. We as a country are following in the footsteps of the amazing legacy of Raoul Wallenberg.
During the war in Irak Sweden has taken more Iraqi Refugees ALONE than THE WHOLE OF EUROPE AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TOGETHER.!!!
Of course this has caused some problems for Sweden. In our little town of Söderhamn 2 hours north of Stockholm, you would wonder indeed which part of the world you were in sometimes, because the pupils i have been teaching come from countries like, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Eritreya, Burma, Sudan, Libya, Tchad, Thailand, Öst Turkistan, Turkiet, Kurdistan, Afganistan, and many many more countries. I remember in the late 60`s when i visited London and saw people there from India, Pakistan, and African countries how "different" it felt to being in Dublin where you hardly ever saw a dark skinned person.
My home town now since 1978 has every colour skin under the sun here and i Love it. My colleauges and I have made a point of introducing our New Citizens to what being SWEDISH means! Like our devotion to the Nature here and the freedom we have here*Allemansrätten to literally walk anywhere, stay anywhere, pick berries and mushrooms etc without prior permission from anyone, but all the time respecting the needs of Farmers and Private homes etc.
We have also informed them that here in Sweden we believe whatever we want to believe in. We wear what we want to wear. We do not tolerate someone deciding over who their son or daughter may or may not marry. That we also have the right to our opinions about ANYTHING etc:
THis is a Swedish word which literally translated to English means " The right of every person to freedom of movement throughout Sweden and its Nature its countryside."
Written by Therese Zumi Sumner 21/08/2012