Friday 20 July 2018

Sweden grants temporary asylum to 106-year-old Afghan woman

Afghan refugee Bibihal Uzbeki lies in bed in Hova, Sweden (AP)
Afghan refugee Bibihal Uzbeki lies in bed in Hova, Sweden (AP)

A 106-year-old Afghan woman who made a perilous journey to Europe in 2015 which involved her son and grandson carrying her through mountains, deserts and forests has finally been granted temporary shelter in Sweden.

The Migration Court of Appeal reversed an earlier decision by Swedish Migration Agency to deport Bibihal Uzbeki, who is severely disabled and can barely speak.

The court said she is in "a very bad state of health (which) may deteriorate drastically", adding that an expulsion "could be considered inhuman and degrading treatment".

It conceded that "particular consideration" had been given to "the extremely high age of the woman" and "her very bad state of health".

This countered the agency's view that age does not by itself provide grounds for asylum.

Ms Uzbeki's grandson Mohammed Uzbeki said the ruling meant she was given "a time-limited residence permit for 13 months" which ends July 19 2019.

"She is really sick," her grandson said.

Ms Uzbeki's journey through Europe made headlines in 2015, when she was part of a huge influx of people who came from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries through the Balkans before finally reaching Sweden.

Press Association

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