Take action: Defend Palestinian refugee rights in Sweden!

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network is sharing this important alert from our colleagues at Samidoun Gothenburg in Sweden. Palestinian refugees in Sweden are facing exclusion, denial of residency and threats to their most fundamental rights. For more details on the campaign, please visit Palestinian Refugees Rights in Sweden on Facebook.

We urge you to take action below:

Since 8 January 2020, a group of Palestinians have been on a sit-down strike in a public tent in Gothenburg, Sweden. They are all refugees, many of them stateless, and have had their applications for a renewed residency permit denied. Because of their status, they cannot receive help from the national or municipal governments or support for housing, employment or healthcare. This is a major concern in ordinary times, but amid the current pandemic, may well be fatal. This is why it is particularly important to act now to contact the Swedish government and the political parties and demand that they take responsibility for this situation and let the Palestinian refugees stay!

Please send the email below, which you can use directly, or write your own, using this text as information. The Swedish text is provided along with an English translation. Don’t forget to add your name and location to the email before you send it off!

Sample letter: send it on!

Subject: Let the Palestinian refugees stay!

Dear Swedish officials and political parties,

At present, there are a large number of Palestinian refugees in Sweden who have had their asylum applications denied and lack residence permits, but who, in practice, cannot be deported either to the occupied Palestinian territories or any other country, despite the Migration Agency’s contrary opinion. This state of legal limbo has the consequence that they do not have access to secure jobs, safe housing and safe schooling. If this situation was not already worthy of political action, it cannot have escaped the notice of anyone reading this that Sweden has been hit hard by an infectious and deadly pandemic, against which the best defense is clean and spacious housing to be able to self-isolate themselves if necessary, and a steady livelihood in order to take care of their own needs and those of the community.

It may not have been Swedish policies that forced the Palestinian refugees to flee and then made it impossible for them to return home, but if you choose to act, Swedish policies can help give the Palestinian refugees a more dignified existence.

In order to make this happen, it is critical that:

Statelessness is recognized as a basis for asylum.
Refugee status is recognized as a basis for asylum.
People with refugee status, stateless people and those without a residence permit are classified as a vulnerable group in the actions against the pandemic and that their access to the necessary resources (housing, livelihood and healthcare) is secured.

With sincere yet concerned greetings,

Please send this to any or all of the following:

Thank you for your support! Please share this campaign in social media and call on your contacts to email and call. Together, we are strong!

Swedish text of the letter:

Ämne: Låt de palestinska flyktingarna stanna!

Kära politiker,

I dagsläget befinner det sig ett stort antal palestinska flyktingar i Sverige som har nekats och saknar uppehållstillstånd men som i praktiken inte heller kan utvisas, vare sig till ockuperade palestinska områden eller något annat land, trots Migrationsverkets motsatta omdöme. Detta tillstånd av rättsligt limbo får följden att de inte har tillgång till trygga jobb, trygga boenden och trygga skolgångar. Om inte denna situation redan var värd politiska åtgärder så kan det inte ha undgått den som läser detta att Sverige har nåtts av en smittsam och dödlig pandemi mot vilket det bästa försvaret är rena och rymliga bostäder att kunna isolera sig i vid behov och en stadig försörjning att kunna se till sina egna och sin omgivnings behov.

Det må ha varit annat än svensk politik som tvingat de palestinska flyktingarna på flykt och sedan gjort det omöjligt för dem att återvända hem, men om du väljer att agera kan svensk politik bidra till att de palestinska flyktingarna får en mer värdig tillvaro.

Vad du kan verka för:

Att statslöshet införs som grund för asyl.
Att flyktingstatus införs som grund för asyl.
Att människor med flyktingstatus, i statslöshet och utan uppehållstillstånd betecknas som en riskgrupp i arbetet mot pandemin och att deras tillgång till de därav nödvändiga resurserna (bostad, försörjning och vård) tryggas.

Med vänliga men bekymrade hälsningar