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20060714,00


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Give me your tired and hungry - give me your suckers.

One thing's certain: things aren't as they've always been in Göran 'Napoleon' Persson's Sweden.

On Tuesday this week a Turkish couple in their thirties and their two children reported to the 'migration board' office in polar Kiruna. 'Migration board' is the new 'politically correct' name for what was originally called the 'IMmigration board' - now it's fritt fram to commit all the injustices in the world, such as celebrate in champagne when you've sent back a blatte or two.

Anyway: the husband seems to have been prepared for the worst. Naturally the board told the family they would not be allowed to stay in the country. Other office workers were probably already putting the skumpa on ice. They weren't prepared for the next move: the husband poured petrol all over himself and said he was ready to light a match.

Any sane charitable kind human being would realise that if someone is prepared to go that far then maybe just maybe the fat-arsed bureaucrats investigating the case went a wee bit too far in trying to find excuses to get rid of the family.

And what Swedish law says is one thing, but time and again it's the anonymous pen pushers who get to decide how that law is implemented. And that's where things will always go wrong. Terribly wrong.

Anyway: the drama continued for eleven hours. The police came and negotiated with the family. The children were released by 18:00 hours. The husband and wife finally gave up four hours later.

And here's a great punch line: no one in Kiruna knows how the family had been subsisting. Or cares for that matter, it must be strenuously pointed out.

In other news, it turns out Sweden are turning away medical patients - this in violation of UN regulations, according to a new report by Médecins sans Frontières. Many of the children who come to MSF are in bad psychological shape, some even attempting suicide. WTG, Napoleon.

MSF have conducted their survey over a fifteen month period. Some don't dare contact hospitals for fear of being extradited, others dare but are turned away.

MSF have been running an emergency project in Stockholm since 2004 to counteract this move by the luminary Sweden of Göran Persson and during this time fixed 502 medical consultations.

'Some of the children we meet have previously been refused care at a hospital due to their status while others had to pay €250 to see a doctor or up to €1,100 for surgery', says MSF's head in Stockholm Mattias Ohlson. 'In addition, many parents were too afraid to take their child to the hospital. They feared that someone would turn them into the migration authorities or the police, something which unfortunately has happened.'

Sweden was among the first countries to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Today, 15 years later and despite criticism from the EU Commission, the Swedish healthcare system still excludes some categories of children, arguing that they do not have the proper documents.

'One of our patients was an 11yo boy injured playing football', said Ohlson. 'His mother did not dare to take him to the emergency ward. When we met him three months later, he could hardly walk. Another 1yo boy had problem with a testicle and needed surgery. The doctor wanted to help him but the hospital wanted their money. Only after MSF repeatedly contacted the hospital did the boy finally get his operation.'

'This is not about lack of willingness among the healthcare staff, many of whom themselves are frustrated with the current situation. It is primarily about a lack of clear directives and financial responsibility from the government', said Ohlson. All must have equal access to healthcare, regardless of their legal status. I feel ashamed of my country when I hear how some have been treated.'

Ohlson's not the only one to feel ashamed. The only way to turn this around is to kick Napoleon out of office.

22yo naturalised Swede Jad Saliba was in Lebanon when the war broke out. He's blogging for Swedish TV4.

Caught in a Paradise Turned Warzone 2006-07-14 11:25 UTC

Lebanon's at war again, the Beirut airport is being bombed continually by Israel and people in the south (controlled by the Hezbollah) have fled to Beirut and are hiding in schools there. Right now the biggest Lebanese cellphone provider MTC Touch was attacked and I just saw live pictures of the Israeli air force bombing the airport again.

The streets are empty now even though here in Jounieh we're not directly affected by the Israeli attacks.

Being stuck here in Jounieh feels like being caught between two walls that inch closer together. Even though we're not affected yet things don't look good for anyone right now.

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