Palestinian Family Deported from Saudi Arabia at Risk of Refoulement in Sweden

Palestinian Family Deported from Saudi Arabia at Risk of Refoulement in Sweden

Credit: picture alliance / DW

Palestinian refugee Nour Hamada has expressed her deep disappointment after the Swedish Migration Agency issued a decision to deport her to Saudi Arabia along with her husband Mahmoud Barou and her three children Majd, Joudi, and Ahmad.

The deportation comes after six years, during which the family has kept appealing for a visa in Sweden.

“Our family is Palestinian in origin”, Nour Hamada told the Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS). “Our grandparents were forced out of their home in 1948. We are registered at a UN body as stateless and hold a Syrian travel document”.

Nour’s husband and children were born and raised in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi employer ended her husband’s work contract and invalidated his work permit.

“We met in Sweden in 2014 as asylum seekers. We kept appealing to the Swedish migration authorities to grant us legal stays in the country. Now we’re about to be forced back to Saudi Arabia, after six years of unheeded appeals”, she added.

Nour said the Saudi Embassy in Stockholm had already handed them a final exit visa stating that they can no longer re-enter or work in Saudi Arabia.

The wife said the family members have been enduring a state of psychological distress and denied their basic human rights, including education, healthcare, and access to the labor market.

Nour has appealed to all international humanitarian and human rights institutions to urgently step in and pressurize the Swedish Migration Agency to cancel the deportation ban and grant her family humanitarian asylum in the kingdom pending their return to their homeland—Palestine.

“I am a Palestinian refugee rather than a Saudi national”, confirmed Nour. “I should be pushed back to Palestine, not to another exile”.

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