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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 May, 2005, 00:09 GMT 01:09 UK
Sweden 'violated' torture treaty
Migration Minister Barbro Holmberg
Ms Holmberg said Sweden took the judgement seriously
Sweden has been found guilty of violating the international convention against torture for deporting a terror suspect to Egypt.

The UN's committee against torture said Sweden should have known that Egypt consistently tortured detainees.

At the time, the Swedish government said it had been given assurances that Ahmed Agiza would be treated fairly.

Correspondents say the ruling is a blow to Sweden which prides itself on its human rights record.

'Widespread torture'

The UN said Sweden breached its duties when it extradited asylum seeker Agiza in December 2001.

Agiza, a former member of Islamic Jihad, was sentenced in his absence to 25 years in jail in 1998.

He applied for asylum in Sweden three years later but was turned down on security grounds.

He was handed over to US authorities who chained and hooded him and flew him to jail in Egypt.

Agiza's family claim he was subject to electric shock treatment and other abuses in the first weeks after being placed in Egyptian custody.

But Swedish officials who visited him in prison said they saw no signs of torture.

His family lodged a complaint with the UN committee against torture in 2003.

In its ruling, the committee said: "Egypt resorted to consistent and widespread use of torture against detainees and that the risk of such treatment was particularly high in the case of detainees held for political and security reasons."

Sweden's Migration Minister Barbro Holmberg said her government was taking the judgement seriously.

"This is serious criticism, we will analyze this carefully to see what guidance this can give for the future," she told Swedish news agency TT.

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