Swedish police chief says she feels 'great shame' as she criticises asylum policy in viral Facebook post

Swedish police chief says she feels 'great shame' as she criticises asylum policy in viral Facebook post

Some have campaigned in Sweden for asylum seeker rights

Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Facebook post by a police chief from Sweden has gone viral as she slammed the asylum policy in the country.

In just two days the post received more than 13,000 reactions and was shared more than 7,000 times, The Local reported.

Before writing the lengthy post Lena Matthijs had to tell an Ethiopian teenager that she would be deported, despite spending four years in Sweden.

In the post she said: "I feel great shame. Shame for belonging to the state establishment that decided to deport a 17-year-old girl to Ethiopia after four years in Sweden because her homeland is judged not to be sufficiently dangerous or miserable."

She went on to say that the girl had completed a year of upper secondary school and is fluent in Swedish. The police chief added that the girl had questioned what would happen to her studies and said she had no one to take her in back in Ethiopia.

"The summer job she’s doing here in Sweden will be her only source of funds. Now she has to fend for herself, as best as possible." 

The Alvsborg police chief admitted that she wasn't sure whether she should talk about the deportation publically, but felt she had to after seeing the teenager in tears.

She criticised the system in Sweden by saying: "We deport kids who have integrated into Swedish society at the same time as we take in people who come back from fighting in Syria who have no other plan than to destroy our safety."

Matthijs calls for asylum request processes to be sped up, especially for children. She adds that if no decision is made within two years the child should be automatically given a permanent residence permit as long as they don't have a criminal record.

Most comments on her post were positive and appeared to agree with Matthijs’ post. She said: "The reaction has been fantastic. A huge amount of support and love, which I never expected."