Swedes also commit crimes abroad and are jailed in foreign soils. Do we have any idea how many they are?


Monday, 11 July 2011
Criminality is not selective. This means all sorts of humans, white, black or the Swedes are also susceptible to criminality. Though Swedes here can still means those immigrants who became Swedish citizens or dual citizens, it urns out that a good number of Swedes are now in jails abroad – some for committing crimes others because their professions are seen as crimes.

At least 181 Swedes are currently being imprisoned in countries outside Scandinavia. Drug offenses are the most common reason. Dual citizenship can cause problems when the Swedish authorities are seeking to contact.

The Swedish embassies often find it hard when a Swedish citizen has been arrested, unless the person speaks out. Most Swedes are jailed in the U.S., – about 28 people, according to Swedish foreign office, followed by Germany with about 18 Swedes behind bars.

The embassies are struggling to ensure that detainees Swedes are treated in accordance with its laws. At least some 20 of those detained have citizenship in the country where they were arrested, which complicates things. Recent example is Swedish citizens in their 50s who had been sentenced to life imprisonment in Bahrain, where the Foreign Ministry had no access to determine how transparent the Swedes were treated in relation to the law.

Swedish ministry of foreign affairs cry out that some countries do not recognize dual citizenship, “as it becomes difficult for us to access them”.


Many of the 181 on the Swedish Foreign Office's list are made up of some 13 women in whom the foreign office has not received them. 

Others are professional doing the dangerous job of journalism and are caught in-between their job and authorities who hate journalists. Journalist Dawit Isaak, who holds dual nationality, has been imprisoned in Eritrea for nearly ten years without trial.

Most, however, is doomed, more to life sentences. A Swedish man in the United States was sentence in 2004 in prison for 120 years of sexual abuse against children.

Others where detained for trying to smuggle drugs  for example one arrested in 1993 in the U.S. and the following year was sentenced to a 25-year sentence for trying to smuggle 30 tons of marijuana into the country. Drug is the leading cause of the imprisonment of most of them - about 70 of the 181 cases had to do with drug offences.
The Embassy in Berlin is trying to get in touch with the Swedes who are detained there.

An idea bout the amount of Swedes in Foreign jails.
The number in parentheses indicates the number of Swedes (citizen or permanent resident in Sweden) imprisoned in the following countries:
1st United States (28)
2nd Germany (18)
3rd Spain (16)
4th Poland (11)
5th Thailand (8)
6th Italy (7)
7th China, Venezuela (5)
8th Brazil, Ethiopia, Greece, Britain, Turkey, Austria (4)
9th Philippines, Iraq, Syria (3)
10th Belgium, Egypt, France, Ghana, Kosovo, Croatia, Lebanon, Morocco, Netherlands, Argentina (2)
11th Australia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Ecuador, Eritrea, Estonia, United Arab Emirates, Gambia, India, Japan, Cambodia, Canada, Kenya, Cuba, Latvia, Lithuania, New Zealand, Oman, Panama, Portugal, Switzerland, Serbia, Singapore, Somalia, Togo, Hungary and Belarus (1)
Source: Swedish foreign office

By Team

Print this article

What do you think about this article? Would you like to leave a comment? It will be much appreciated. You can also rate this article.

  • Should be Empty:

Scandinavian Companies & Market Magazine
(C) 2010  Granscole Establishment Sweden AB. Registered in Sweden as a Media Company. Organisation Number: 556782-6572
F-Skatt (VAT) Number: SE556782657201