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153. In short, the facts occurred in the following manner: on 18 December 2001, Mr Agiza and Mr Alzery, Egyptian citizens seeking asylum in Sweden, were the subject of a decision dismissing the asylum application and ordering their deportation on grounds of security, taken in the framework of a special procedure at ministerial level. An internal Säpo report seems to indicate that the American involvement was approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; persons who attended the meeting with the minister and were questioned by the ombudsman have no recollection that this was mentioned. In order to ensure that this decision could be executed that same day, the Swedish authorities accepted an American offer to place at their disposal an aircraft which enjoyed special overflight authorisations. Following their arrest by the Swedish police, the two men were taken to Bromma airport where they were subjected, with Swedish agreement, to a “security check” by hooded American agents.
154. The account of this “check” is especially interesting, as it corresponds in detail to the account given independently by other victims of “rendition”, including Mr El-Masri. The procedure adopted by the American team, described in this case by the Swedish police officers present at the scene, was evidently well rehearsed: the agents communicated with each other by gestures, not words. Owing to lack of space in the room made available to the Americans, the Swedish police were not able to observe everything. In particular, they did not see that (tranquillising) suppositories were administered and that diapers were affixed, as the detainees maintain, and as was done in other “renditions”. See the earlier section of this report on the ‘Human Impact of Renditions and Secret Detentions’. Acting very quickly, the agents cut Agiza’s and Alzery’s clothes off them using scissors, dressed them in tracksuits, examined every bodily aperture and hair minutely, handcuffed them and shackled their feet, and walked them to the aircraft barefoot.
156. According to the ombudsman’s findings, the Swedish officers, who were poorly led, lost control of the operation from the start of the American team’s intervention. They ought to have intervened to put an end to the degrading treatment of the detainees, which was not justified on security grounds since the Swedish police had already carried out a body search on the detainees at the time of arrest.