Alzery v. Sweden
United Nations Human Rights Committee
Comm. No. 1416/2005, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/88/D/1416/2005 (2006)
Mohammed Alzery (plaintiff) was an Egyptian national who applied for asylum in Sweden (defendant) after being tried and convicted in absentia by an Egyptian military court of belonging to a terrorist group. The material facts in Alzery’s case were the same as those presented in Agiza v. Sweden, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/34/D/233/2003 (2005), for which Sweden was in violation of the Convention against Torture. Like Agiza, Alzery was denied asylum on national-security grounds despite the known risk upon refoulement, based solely on diplomatic assurances from Egypt that Alzery would be given a fair trial and treated humanely. The United States Central Intelligence Agency offered Sweden a plane to facilitate transport. Ten American and Egyptian security personnel were then allowed to perform a security check on Alzery at the airport prior to boarding with no intervention by the Swedish security police. The security check included removing Alzery’s clothes with scissors, searching his body, handcuffing him to his feet, inserting a tranquilizer into his rectum, placing him in a diaper, and clothing him in overalls with a loose hood over his head. Alzery later alleged that he was tortured with electrical shocks and treated inhumanely while imprisoned in Egypt. The language of Egypt’s diplomatic assurances on which Sweden relied contained no mechanism for monitoring Alzery’s treatment. Swedish officials did visit Alzery monthly; however, the visits started five weeks after imprisonment, were never in private, and never included medical personnel. Alzery’s attorney filed a complaint alleging violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the covenant).
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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