(WB) Swedish immigration officials on Friday detained two activists from Uganda who were en route to a human rights conference.
LGBT+ Danmark, a Danish advocacy group, in a statement said Swedish authorities “detained for more than two hours two activists originally from Uganda” at the border between Sweden and Denmark. LGBT+ Danmark notes Germany granted “legal asylum status” to the activists and they were “both carrying German identification papers accordingly.”
The activists were on one of three buses that were bringing WorldPride 2021 attendees from Copenhagen, the Danish capital, to a summit on LGBT refugees in the Swedish city of Malmö that was part of the WorldPride 2021 Human Rights Conference. The city is 20 miles from Copenhagen.
The conference was the largest in-person LGBT rights gathering since the pandemic began.
The LGBT+ Danmark statement that Copenhagen (Pride) 2021, Malmö Pride, the RFSL (the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Rights) All Out, Fundación AMAL Argentina, Udada Imara in Kenya and the Eagle Wings Youth Initiative in Tanzania signed says they “are aware of the challenges and often discriminatory practices that refugees and Black and indigenous migrants and migrants of color experience in cross-border situations.”
“Furthermore, Copenhagen 2021, LGBT+ Danmark, and co-signatories are painfully aware of the emotional implications unwarranted detention has on members of the LGBTIQ+ community with refugee status,” it adds.
The statement further notes the “Malmö team of Copenhagen 2021 is working with Swedish authorities to find out what happened and to ensure that it does not happen again.”
“Copenhagen 2021, LGBT+ Danmark and co-signatories call on all European border patrol authorities to review border patrol practices in order to systematically address and prevent instances of unwarranted detention and racial profiling,” it says. “Copenhagen 2021, LGBT+ Danmark and co-signatories call on all European authorities to ensure that the rights of refugees and Black and indigenous migrants and migrants of color are being observed — especially pertaining to freedom of movement within the EU and the Schengen area.”
The Washington Blade has reached out to the Swedish government and WorldPride 2021 for comment.