Sweden Torture and other ill-treatment

The HRC expressed concern about the failure to guarantee the right of detained criminal suspects to access a doctor; the reported number of self inflicted deaths in prisons; and the absence of an effective and independent police complaints body.

In December, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture stated that the authorities had taken insufficient measures to allay its concerns regarding legal safeguards against ill-treatment in police custody; the imposition of restrictions on remand prisoners; and the isolation of certain categories of sentenced prisoners.

An investigation into the death of Johan Liljeqvist, a 24-year-old man who had died in April 2008 following his arrest by the police in Gothenburg, was reopened in October amid reports that police investigators had attempted to cover up the extent of the injuries he had sustained.

In December, the Parliamentary Ombudsman criticized the use of pepper spray by the police in certain circumstances. These included in vehicles and on police premises against individuals whom the police already had under control; where there was no threat of violence; or as an inducement to follow police orders.

Sweden failed to introduce torture as a crime in its penal code.

Refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants

The HRC expressed concern about deportations of asylum-seekers whose claims had not been finally determined; the use, in some expulsion cases, of information undisclosed to those facing expulsion; and the lengthy detentions of some asylum-seekers. Both the HRC and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture expressed concern about the holding of immigration detainees in remand prisons.

Despite recommendations from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, that all states halt forcible returns to central and southern Iraq and Eritrea, 285 Iraqis were forcibly returned to the former and several Eritreans to the latter.

Asylum-seekers who wished to challenge their transfer to another EU member state under the Dublin II Regulation were not entitled to a suspensive in-country appeal (which would suspend their transfer pending the outcome of the appeal). Those detained while awaiting transfer were denied the right to an appointed legal representative, including in respect of challenges to their detention pending transfer.

In June, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed concern over the authorities' failure to sufficiently consider the best interests of children seeking asylum, and the large number of unaccompanied children disappearing from reception centres. In November, the government announced it would form a commission to review the system for dealing with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and their housing needs.

Violence against women and girls

The HRC expressed concern about the high prevalence of violence against women, the lack of shelters for women in some municipalities and the continuing occurrence of female genital mutilation (within migrant communities).


The HRC noted the increase of reported racially motivated crimes. The CRC expressed concern at discrimination against and xenophobic and racist attitudes towards children of ethnic minorities, refugee and asylum-seeking children and children belonging to migrant families.

Sweden Newsroom

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

May 29, 2013 • Report

Annual Report: Sweden 2013

Kingdom of Sweden Head of state King Carl XVI Gustaf Head of government Fredrik Reinfeldt Ahmed Agiza, who had been subjected to rendition from Sweden to Egypt in 2001 and …

October 3, 2011 • Report

Campaign to silence Syrian protesters overseas revealed

Syrian protesters in Europe and the Americas have been systematically monitored and harassed by embassy officials and others believed to be acting on behalf of the Syrian regime, Amnesty International …

July 11, 2011 • Report

Annual Report: Sweden 2011

Head of state: King Carl XVI Gustaf Head of government: Fredrik Reinfeldt Death penalty: abolitionist for all crimes Population: 9.3 million Life expectancy: 81.3 years Under-5 mortality (m/f): 4/4 per …

March 26, 2011 • Report

Europe: Open Secret: Mounting Evidence of Europe’s Complicity in Rendition and Secret Detention

Europe: Open Secret: Mounting Evidence of Europe’s Complicity in Rendition and Secret Detention Available in PDF only.

March 19, 2011 • Report

Annual Report: Sweden 2010

Head of state King Carl XVI Gustaf Head of government Fredrik Reinfeldt Death penalty abolitionist for all crimes Population 9.2 million Life expectancy 80.8 years Under-5 mortality (m/f) 4/4 per …

December 9, 2019 • Press Release

Generation Z Ranks Climate Change Highest as Vital Issue of our Time in Amnesty International Survey

Climate change leads as one of the most important issues facing the world, according to a major new survey of young people published by Amnesty International today to mark Human Rights Day.

November 19, 2017 • Press Release

Amnesty reveals alarming impact of online abuse against women

New research by Amnesty International has revealed the alarming impact that abuse and harassment on social media are having on women, with women around the world reporting stress, anxiety, or panic attacks as a result of these harmful online experiences.

February 22, 2016 • Press Release

Amnesty International’s Annual State of the World Report Slams Governments, Including the U.S., for Global Assault on Freedoms

On the launch of its 2015 State of the World report, Amnesty International USA urged President Obama to use his last year in office to bring U.S. laws and policies in line with international human rights standards.