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Sweden Tells Soviet Defectors to Return, Credits Reforms

Associated Press

Sweden has refused asylum for 10 Soviet defectors and ordered them back to their homeland, saying they no longer qualify as political refugees because of Soviet reforms, an official said today.

An Immigration Board official, Mikael Broman, said each case was appealed and is under review.

In the past, Swedish authorities routinely granted Soviet defectors the right to stay in Sweden. But Broman said the board “changed its position due to the developments in the Soviet Union.”

He was referring to Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev’s campaigns for glasnost and perestroika, or openness and restructuring.

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