• Diplomatic Assurances. A judicial and political analysis of the undermining of the principle of non-refoulement

Lambert Academic Publishing
Publication date:

(Olof Hasselberg - LLM; studied Law at the University of Gothenburg and the University of Copenhagen.)


In December 2001, the Swedish television programme ''Kalla Fakta'' uncovered the story of Ahmed Agiza and Muhammed El Zari, who after having been denied asylum in Sweden, were arrested by the police and deported in haste to Egypt. The men were suspected of terrorism and even though Egypt was well-known to mistreat political opponents in general, and alleged Islamic terrorists in particular, the Swedish government decided to have them transferred. Both Agiza and El Zari later claimed that they were tortured in Egypt. The disclosure resulted in a massive outcry and the Swedish government were heavily criticised by a great number of actors for having violated its international law obligations and Agiza''s and El Zari''s human rights. Sweden, on the other hand, claimed that it had done whatever one could possibly require to ensure that the men were treated correctly, while also making sure that its national security was protected. This claim sheds a light on an old conflict that has been reinforced by the emerge of the globalised threat from terrorism and the violent and repressive responses towards it; namely, how to at once respect state security and human rights.

MATERIAS: Public International Law, Human rights, Terrorismus