In mid-December, I wrote the text “Sweden about to deport a Mongolian activist to China“, explaining the situation of Mongolian activist Baolige Wurina from Inner Mongolia in China, living in Sweden together with his Mongolian wife and their two little children.
Despite having lived in Sweden for a decade, working and starting a family, Baolige was denied residence permit by Sweden’s Migration Court in late November.
Not granting Baolige protection and instead expelling him to China, was an even more noteworthy decision given the latest wave of oppression against ethnic Mongolians in the Inner Mongolian region, combined with the fact that Baolige himself have been attending several rallies in Sweden during which he was also filmed by the Chinese embassy.
For people following the case closely, it was obvious that if sent back to China, Baolige would face prison or worse, especially since Chinese authorities have repeatedly visited and harassed his family members in Inner Mongolia, demanding them persuade Baolige to stop his activism and immediately return to China.
With those circumstances in mind, Baolige Wurina’s lawyer had high hopes that the Sweden’s Migration Court of Appeal – the third and last instance deciding on asylum and residence permit matters within the Swedish authorities for migration – would overturn the decision from the second instance, the above mentioned Migration Court, and grant the Mongolian activist a new hearing.
This week, however, the Migration Court of Appeal announced that it upholds the prior decision from the Migration Board and the Migration Court to deny Baolige Wurina a residence permit and instead expel him to China.
The ruling from the Court of Appeal (in Swedish) can be seen below, or as a full size PDF via Scribd:
The decision, a surprise for many, doesn’t only put the life and well-being of Baolige Wurina at risk. It also means that Baolige’s wife and two children now longer has the legal right to abode in Sweden.
Being Mongolian citizens, Baolige’s wife and their two children will not be expelled to China but to Mongolia. The Migration Court’s motivation for expelling the family from Sweden, included the suggestion that the family could soon be reunited again either in China or Mongolia, given that the two countries are right next to each other.
But for many observers, the two countries are still light years apart despite the fact that their share geographical borders. As have been stated clearly in the two English language reports below, rather than a forthcoming family reunification, persecution and possibly torture is what Baolige can expect upon his return to Inner Mongolia:
“Swedish deportation of Inner Mongolian activist to China imminent” (Safeguard Defenders)
“Sweden Is About to Deport Activist to China—Torture and Prison Be Damned” (Newsweek)
When talking to Baolige’s Wife after the latest decision this week, she expresses helplessness and hopelessness. The decision from the Migration Court of Appeal enters into immediate legal effect. Would the family now bump into any police or legal enforcer, they are to be put in detention while departure to China and Mongolia is being prepared.
With all legal options in Sweden now exhausted, the last albeit minimal hope for a different outcome in this case is for the family to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The Swedish parliament is also to hold a debate February 4, on the situation in Inner Mongolia and the policy of the Migration Board on this matter.