PEN Urges Swedish Migration Authorities to Grant Guest Writer Anisur Rahman Asylum
Added: 10 October 2009 to Network News
Bangladeshi poet and journalist Anisur Rahman came to Uppsala, Sweden, after having been repeatedly abused by both government and extremist islamist groups. Despite believing that he has been a victim of persecution in Bangladesh, Swedish migration authorities rejected his aylum application because they do not believe these incidents were directed at him personally, but rather that they were results of general political turmoil in the country. At its 75th International Congress in Linz earlier this week, International PEN issued a resolution urging Swedish migration authorities to reconsider its decision and grant him aylum.
It is uncommon for PEN International to get involved in an individual case like this: "PENs International Congress represents PEN centres all over the world. The organisation wishes to draw attention to the important example that Anisur Rahman represents. As a writer within the Refuge City system his need for protection has been documentet by the secretariat of PEN International. It is worrying that the Swedish migration authorities now question this assessment," says Ola Larsmo of Swedish PEN to the Swedish newspaper UNT.
PEN International's resolution.
The Assembly of Delegates of International PEN, meeting at its 75th International Congress in Linz, Austria, from 19-25 October 2009:
Noting that for the past ten years several European cities have been offering refuge to writers in need of protection;
Welcoming that Bangladeshi poet and literary critic Anisur Rahman was invited by the city of Uppsala in September 2009 and has proven to be well integrated in the cultural life of the city;
Expressing alarm that Anisur Rahman was refused asylum in October 2009 by the Swedish Migration authorities;
Urges the Swedish Migration authorities to be guided by the example set by Uppsala and reconsider its decision and grant him asylum.