Tips and tools

Making a JO-notification

JO: Inspects authorities so they work according to the laws and regulations which govern their work – especially those laws which affect the rights and obligations of the individual in relation to the public.

A JO-notification is easiest done via a form on their website (www.jo.se/sv/JO-anmalan/). They ask for personal information of the notifier, which need not be the same as the victim. One can report anonymously, but then it is unlikely that the notification will be dealt with.

To make a complaint:

1. Write down who the complaint is directed against, what authority and/or official who arguably acted improperly:
Write down “The Police in Gothenburg”, for example, and state the name of the police officer, if you know it.

2. Describe what happened and when it took place:
Be as detailed and descriptive as you can, and include anything that could be of disadvantage for the police. This could be that you walked at a normal pace, on your way to see a friend or to school/work etc. Try to report the dialogue with the police in detail: did they say anything derogatory, xenophobic or discriminatory about the people you were with, or the area you were in? It is important to include everything, as the police can change their story afterwards.

3. In what way do you find that the authority/official acted improperly?
How you can answer the question:
According to Aliens Act, the police can request identification documents only when there is substantial grounds to believe that a person has no right to reside in Sweden, or if there is a particular cause for control. Furthermore, in the legislative history of Aliens Act it is clearly expressed that the police cannot use solely the fact a person has an alleged foreign appearance as sufficient reason to arrest him or her in the street and initiate immigration control. Also the National Police Agency Regulation (RPSFS 2011:4 FAP 273-1) indicates that the internal control of foreigners could not be made solely on the grounds that a person has an appearance that could be perceived as foreign, or because of his or her language or name.

I believe the police officer acted improperly and in breach of the Aliens Act provisions and its own regulations on so-called internal immigration control. This is because the police officer who stopped me/the person you report on the behalf of, and demanded my/his/her ID, could only have been done on the basis of my looks/language [name the discriminatory/arbitrary reasons].

There was no substantial grounds to believe that I/him/her have/has no right to reside in Sweden, and neither was there any particular cause for control. This was a case of racial profiling, which is discriminatory and illegal. I/we wish JO to investigate whether the police in this particular case, and generally during those internal immigration controls, fulfil the necessary condition of substantial grounds. I believe that the Ombudsman should investigate whether the methods used by the police in the context of so-called internal border controls are in accordance with the law in my case, and other similar cases. There is great uncertainty about this – the various police officers interpret the law differently and contradict each other in media. Clarification is necessary, both for the police and for the public.

Please contact the Reva Shelter (revajouren@gmail.com) if you would like further information about what rights the police have to carry out identity checks, and how you can proceed if you become victim of a control without clear reason!