Three Swedes freed from Ethiopia
19 May 07 | BBC
Three Swedish men have been released by Ethiopia after being detained for five months on suspicion of helping Islamist militants in Somalia. A spokeswoman for Sweden’s foreign ministry said the three men (more…)
19 May 07 | BBC
Three Swedish men have been released by Ethiopia after being detained for five months on suspicion of helping Islamist militants in Somalia. A spokeswoman for Sweden’s foreign ministry said the three men, who were originally arrested in Somalia, were now back in Sweden
Spokeswoman Nina Ersman said the three had not been charged with any offence.
Ethiopia has said it detained a number of people after its army helped drive Islamists out of Somalia’s capital.
Two of the men are Swedish nationals and one has permanent residency status in Sweden. Their names have not been released.
19 May 07|BBC
Sweden’s foreign ministry had been demanding the release of the detainees for several weeks.
“I would like to express my gratitude to all foreign ministry officials who made this possible,” Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said in a statement.
Ethiopian troops helped drive Islamist militants out of Mogadishu
A lawyer for the three men said there had been no notification from Ethiopia that they would be released.
Ethiopia’s government said in April that it had detained 41 people from 17 countries after its army helped Somalia’s transitional government drive militias allied to the Union of Islamic Courts out of Mogadishu at the end of last year.
Some detainees were deported from Kenya, where many Somalis fled the fighting in Mogadishu.
Ethiopia has defended the detentions as part of its efforts to combat international terrorism in the Horn of Africa.
Human rights groups say US agents have been allowed to interrogate the detainees as part of the hunt for al-Qaeda suspects in the region.