Afghan woman faces deportation

106-year old Afghan refugee Bibikhal Uzbek. (AP Photo)

TMP – 19/09/2017

A 106-year-old Afghan woman, who made the dangerous journey to Europe two years ago, is facing deportation from Sweden after her asylum application was rejected.

Bibikhal Uzbeki can barely speak and is totally bedbound. Her family made the journey to Sweden on foot and on trains through the Balkans, often carrying Bibikhal on their backs. They now live in a small village in central Sweden.

The Swedish Migration Agency confirmed in a statement to Associated Press that they had “taken a decision regarding an expulsion in the case,” adding “generally speaking, high age does not in itself provide grounds for asylum.”

Migrants whose asylum applications in Sweden are rejected are allowed up to three appeals, a process that can take a long time.
Bibikhal’s family say she is physically unable to survive the trip back to Afghanistan and have filed an appeal for her to stay in Sweden to live out the last period of her life.

“I don’t understand, why? Why turn her down?“ Mohammad Uzbek, Bibikhal Uzbek’s grandson, asked Al Jazeera.

Last year, more than 4,542 asylum seekers in Sweden withdrew their applications and left the country. This was in part due to the lengthy processing times of applications, strict rules on family reunion and difficulty in finding secure employment.