Salwan Momika will not be deported to Iraq, Sweden Migration Agency

Salwan Momika, an Iraqi resident of Sweden who set fire to holy Quran in Stockholm, Sweden. Photo by Anders Wiklund / TT

By KirkukNow

Salwan Momika's permanent residence permit  has been cancelled in Sweden which has decided to deport him, but Momika will not be deported to Iraq and the decision is not related to burning a copy of the Holy Qur’an.

On Thursday, October 26, the Sweden Migration Agency announced the withdrawal of the residence permit of Salwan Momika, the Iraqi refugee residing in Sweden, because he had given false information to the institution regarding his asylum application.

On Friday, October 27, the spokesman for the Sweden Migration Agency, Jesper Tengroth, told the Foreign Languages Department of Swedish Radio that “Momika’s deportation is not because he burned a copy of the Qur’an and not because he poses a threat to Sweden’s security, but because he submitted false statements to the Migration Agency.”

He stressed that the institution "obtained new information about Momika during summer, so it was decided to withdraw his residence permit and deport him from Sweden."

Last June, a man who identified himself in the Swedish media as a refugee from Iraq burned a copy of the Quran, the holy book for Muslims, outside a mosque in central Stockholm. Swedish police have allowed his actions, citing freedom of speech.

An Iraqi security official who spoke on condition of anonymity under regulations told AP then the man was an Iraqi Christian who had previously fought in a Christian unit of the Popular Mobilization Forces PMF and known as Hashid Shabi, a collection of mostly Shiite militias that were incorporated into the country’s armed forces in 2016.

But the Immigration Service indicated at the same time that the deportation decision could not be implemented because of “concerns he would be exposed to torture and inhumane treatment, so he was granted a temporary residence permit until the middle of next April.”

“Sweden is committed to international treaties that prevent the deportation of a person if he faces the risk of being subjected to torture and death,” Tengroth said.

Meanwhile, Momika’s official representative, Alice Colbari, said in a statement to the same radio station that “the Immigration Service issued a decision to deport Momika from Sweden, but he obtained temporary residency.”

Salwan Momika, who burned copies of the Qur’an several times in Sweden, decided to file a complaint against the decision to deport him from Sweden.

The burning of the Holy Qur’an by Momika sparked indignant reactions in many countries of the world, and Sweden announced that what Mumika did raised the level of terrorism threat to the country.

Momika obtained a permanent residence permit in Sweden in 2021. It was withdrawn and he was granted temporary residency until April 2024. Thus, the decision to deport him from Sweden will not be implemented.

The decision to deport Mumika means that he will be banned from entering Sweden for five years.

The Iraqi government demanded that Sweden extradite Momika for prosecution in Iraq because he had burned a copy of the Holy Quran. The request arrived in Sweden via Interpol on July 18th.

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