comment. Once upon a time, I proudly and fearlessly carried my Swedish passport in queues at passport police around the world. You always come home. I feel completely unsafe now if I have to travel outside the EU. Statistically speaking, Sweden is one of the worst countries at rescuing its citizens. Non-help is called quiet diplomacy in diplomatic parlance. Days pass, months pass, years pass, and you find no help.
I think of the Swedish freedom fighters Dawit Ishak And Gui Minhae Who in the days together are deprived of freedom for thirty years! For thirty years, authoritarian states hid Dawit Isaak and Gui Minhai from the outside world, even though they had Swedish passports and social security numbers. For thirty years, their families dreamed every day of their return to their homeland. Dawit Isaak was arrested in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, one day in September 2001 simply for practicing journalism. For more than two decades, Dawit Isaak was denied trial, charge, access to a lawyer, and family visits.
The situation of Swedish citizen, poet and publisher Gui Minhai is reminiscent of a Hollywood thriller. In October 2015, Gui was kidnapped by plainclothes Chinese police in the Swedish resort of Pattaya in Thailand. Superpower China, which is using significant economic and police resources to eliminate all criticism of China around the world, kidnapped Gui Minhai who ran an independent book publishing house at Causeway Bay Books in Hong Kong. In February 2020, Gui Minhai was convicted of “providing information to a foreign power.” No one saw the ruling.
Iran is one of the countries that engages most in kidnapping diplomacy.
Someone might argue that Dawit Isaak and Gui Minhai cannot get help because they have dual citizenship. But that is not true! The Swedish and EU employee was essentially kidnapped in Iran Johann Fludros In Iran they only have Swedish citizenship. More than 500 days ago, Johan was deprived of his freedom simply because he was Swedish and ended up in Iran at the wrong time. According to Flodero’s family, Johan does not get enough food, fresh air and medical examinations. There is a light on 24 hours a day in his cell.
Iran is one of the countries that engages most in kidnapping diplomacy. The Ayatollahs in Tehran want to replace the innocent Vlodros with him Hamed Nouri Who was convicted for participating in a prison massacre in Iran in 1988. Iran, where the government controls the judiciary, wants to persuade the Swedish government to release mass murderer Nouri so that Johan can leave prison.
The fate of Dawit Isaak, Gui Minhai and Johan Flodero shows that the Swedish Foreign Ministry must change its tactics towards rogue states. Sweden could begin with the immediate expulsion of diplomats in all embassies who deprive Swedish citizens of their liberty without legal grounds.
Finally: I hope that I can proudly hold my Swedish passport in the waiting list at passport police everywhere in the world without feeling fear and apprehension.
Written by Kurdo Baxi
Kurdo Baxi is a writer and journalist.
“Unapologetic writer. Bacon enthusiast. Introvert. Evil troublemaker. Friend of animals everywhere.”