The Prime Minister of Sweden, Magdalena Andersson, has pledged to not extradite any wanted Kurdish-Swedish citizens to Turkey amidst the country’s request to join NATO.
Andersson made the statement during an interview with Rudaw, a Kurdish media network, on Saturday, 10 September.
“Despite our agreement with Turkey, we will not hand over any Kurd with Swedish citizenship to Turkey,” she said.
Andersson reassured double citizens, saying that “those that do not commit terrorist acts, have nothing to worry about.”
“According to Swedish law, anyone who has not committed a terrorist act has a life protected in our country,” she added.
During the NATO summit in Madrid in June, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Finland and Sweden to “play their part” and stop providing a safe haven for Kurdish activists.
Turkey and the two Scandinavian countries reached an agreement earlier that would allow Sweden and Finland to join NATO in exchange to hand over wanted people who have been accused of having joined the Kurdistan Workers Party, which Turkey labeled as a terrorist organization.
The agreement also came to fruition, when in August, Sweden extradited a man in his thirties who was accused of fraud. This was the first extradition from Sweden to Turkey.
Sweden will hold general elections on Sunday, 11 September. Magdalena Andersson is the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party and is currently in the lead with 29% according to the latest polls, followed by the anti-refugee Sweden Democratic Party with 20% of vote intentions.
The rise of the Sweden Democratic Party is the biggest shock ahead of the election, when the party first entered the Swedish Parliament 12 years ago, it was deeply rooted in neo-nazism.
It is also the first time that other right-wing and conservative parties in the country have said they govern together with the Swedish Democratic Party.