Iraq Seeks Extradition of Iraqi Refugee for Quran Desecration in Sweden

Iraq Seeks Extradition of Iraqi Refugee for Quran Desecration in Sweden

Shafaq News/ Iraq has officially requested the extradition of Iraqi refugee Salwan Momika from Sweden, who sparked international outrage by desecrating the Quran, according to Momika and his lawyer, as reported by AFP on Tuesday.

Lawyer David Hall confirmed that Iraq is seeking Momika's extradition because he burnt a Quran outside a mosque in Stockholm in June. However, Hall explained the legal complexities involved, stating, "To be extradited to another country, the law (in Sweden) dictates that the crime has to be a crime in both Sweden and Iraq." Since burning the holy book is not considered a crime in Sweden, extradition on these grounds is impossible.

Sweden's government has strongly condemned the desecration of the Quran but has maintained its commitment to freedom of speech and assembly, citing its national laws.

Momika expressed bewilderment at Iraq's extradition request, saying, "I don't understand why they (Iraq) bother with such a demand. I'm sure the Iraqi government understands this." He also stated that Iraq is seeking his extradition to be judged according to Islamic laws.

Momika has burned Qurans during protests in Sweden since June, leading to widespread outrage and condemnation in Muslim-majority countries. Iraqi protesters stormed the Swedish embassy in Baghdad twice in July, leading to fires within the embassy compound.

As a result of these incidents, Sweden's intelligence agency raised its terror alert level to four on a scale of five, considering the country a "prioritized target."

The Swedish government is currently exploring legal avenues to address protests involving burning holy texts in specific circumstances. However, it is uncertain whether sufficient support for legislation changes will exist.

David Hall noted that Momika's extradition case will likely reach the Swedish Supreme Court, and a decision may take several weeks or even a few months.

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