A Syrian refugee in Sweden has been caught in a strange predicament after the authorities of the Scandinavian country decided to deport him for holding the citizenship of another country, Russia.
Rasem Khulousi is a young Syrian who obtained a Russian passport before applying for asylum in Sweden, according to what was translated by the Kompis website, which is concerned with news of Syrian refugees in Europe, especially Sweden.
The story of Rasem, who was studying in Cyprus when he needed to renew his passport, began when Assad’s embassy told him he had to return to military service.
The dilemma of Russian citizenship
Because Rasem’s family belonged to the Circassian minority, he was entitled to Russian citizenship, which is what the young man chose in order not to return to Syria.
However, his Russian citizenship has become a dilemma for him in Sweden, as the Migration Agency has not changed its decisions regarding asylum seekers from Russia but continues to process their applications in the same way as those from any other country and does not consider their return to their country to be life-threatening.
After refusing his residency, Rasem rushed to engage in a business to secure residency, but the Migration Agency believes that it does not meet the specified conditions, as the applicant must have a valid collective sponsorship agreement or working conditions according to the collective agreement.
If these conditions are not met, the worker must leave Sweden and submit a new application that takes months to be decided.
“The only Russian thing I have is my passport. However, I will be forced to engage in the Russian war.”
Rasem is currently awaiting deportation from Sweden to Russia, where he risks being forced into the army and thus involved in the Ukrainian war.
The Migration Service confirmed in a press release last September that it was aware that young men returned to Russia would end up in prison if they refused military service, yet it decided to deport Khulousi, who belongs to the Circassian minority and was born and raised in Syria.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.