Swedish Judges Refuse to Deport African Migrants Convicted of Gang-Raping Woman
Eritrean refugees are 'military deserters' who may 'face inhumane conditions' if returned
Swedish judges are refusing to deport two African migrants who were convicted gang-raping a woman in Stockholm in a brutal attack that lasted several hours.
The Eritrean refugees were found guilty of aggravated rape in court.
The judges in the case argue that they may "face inhumane conditions" if deported back to Eritrea, Northwest Africa because they are military deserters and will likely be punished.
The "asylum seekers," aged 30 and 32, were convicted in a Stockholm court this week.
The pair raped their victim for several hours in an apartment in the city while threatening her with a knife.
During sentencing, the men received five years in jail and were ordered to pay the victim 135,000 Swedish krona ($14,000 USD) each.
According to the Daily Mail, prosecutors also requested they be deported for a minimum of 15 years.
But the court ruled against it after a migration board warned they would face obstacles over human rights concerns.
The pair have been living in Sweden for several years and have been granted refugee status by the government, according to local news site Aftonbladet.
The migration board found that both men were military deserters who had left Eritrea illegally.
If returned, the UN warns that deserters face arbitrary detention, extrajudicial punishment, and conscription that amounts to forced labor.
Eritrea also has a long-standing shoot-to-kill policy against those found fleeing the country illegally.
The European Court of Justice recently ruled that EU member states cannot deport refugees provided they can prove there is a threat to life if they return home.
One of the men also has family living in Sweden, which is often used as an argument against deportation in such cases.
Prosecutors had argued that the men do not have consistent work and had only learned basic Swedish as part of their case.
Lawyers have not yet said whether they will appeal the decision.