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UTRIKES PERSPEKTIV The Student Magazine on Foreign Affairs

Nr. 1 2014



clean needles - New solutions in Copenhagen

o Lo




es Pag

Drugs - Swedes in Syria - Baghdad - Free needles in Copenhagen

Swedes in Syria - Who are they?

Escaping North Korea - Interview with a defector


- The Divided City

Beyond the


AFghanistan - Land of Opium



>> Pragmatism


- I don’t like what is happening on the streets here in Vesterbro either. But it is happening, whether I want it to or not. We have to address the drug problems in a more pragmatic way.

Editors in Chief: Gustav Wirtén Ivar Johansson

When we went to Vesterbro, Copenhagen, to meet Michael Lodberg Olsen he explained to us why he decided to ask the drug users themselves how he could help them. He had seen the ugly side of drug abuse in his neighborhood for 15 years and finally decided to give drug users a place to be and safe facilities to take drugs. Contrary to how the politicians acted, Lodbergs organisation focused on how they could lessen the suffering and give a more worthy life to the drug users they met on the streets everyday. After years of struggle, the municipality of Copenhagen decided to adopt the same attitude and opened up safe injection rooms in Vesterbro themselves.

Layout and form: Gustav Wirtén Ivar Johansson

We believe that the story of Copenhagen is part of a global shift in the attitude towards drugs. Countries like Uruguay and Portugal and states in the US like Colorado and Washington have liberalized their drug policies vastly. Perhaps a new attitude towards drug use and abuse will appear beyond the bloody war on drugs declared in the 80’s. After 30 years of imprisonments, death and suffering, the zero-tolerance polices towards drugs have failed. Probably the way forward is a more pragmatic outlook.

Layout: Kees Krul Editorial Staff: Martin Andersson Charlotte Tapani Elina Pahnke Marcus Bornlid Linnea Sandell Niklas Gadelii Joanna Herskovits Kajsa Stolt Filip Sandén Adrian Taleny Nicholas Kaminski Tom Kräuchi Anja Skoglund Simon Fridolfsson Kees Krul Legally responsible publisher: Gustav Wirtén Print: Trydells Tryckeri AB Edition: 700 ex

Yours sincerely Gustav Wirtén & Ivar Johansson

Contact: Utrikespolitiska Föreningen Sandgatan 2 223 50 Lund Tel: 046-142733




Content 4.

Presidents’ Message


Member Information


Interview: Francesco Kovacs


Interview: Malin Kärre

10. World Brief 12. Swedish Neutrality 200 Years of Peace


16. Where Revolutions Begin - Coffeehouses in the Middle East 18. North Koreas Other Border 20. The Defector - Mr. Kang’s Escape 22. Theme: Drugs


24. En historia om värdighet 32. Krönika: Om svensk missbrukspolitik 34. Höljt i dunkel knarkslang

62. 24.


37. Afghanistan - Home of Opium 40. Facts 42. Rethinking International Drugpolicies 46. From Sweden to Syria 54. The Legionaire 62. Baghdad - The Division of a City 66. Recension - Det förflutna





Front page: Ryan Mannie. FreedomHouse, US Army, UK Ministry of Defence. Thank you Albin Johansson for the illustrations.

Utrikesperspektiv is the bilingual member magazine of the Association of Foreign Affairs, published four times per year. The magazine has no affiliations with a political party. Opinions presented are the writers´ own.

Detta material är helt eller delvis finansierat av SIDA, styrelsen för Internationellt Utvecklingssamarbete. SIDA delar inte nödvändigtvis de åsikter som här framförs. Ansvaret för innehållet är uteslutande författarens.


Presidents’ Message


pring has come to Lund and the Association of Foreign Affairs is thriving! A few weeks ago, nearly 200 people came and listened to Ji-Min Kang answering questions on North Korea and telling his story of how he escaped the country. Last week, our radio show broadcasted a much-appreciated show on the recent events taking place in Ukraine. And right now you are holding yet another interesting and well-designed issue of our very own magazine.

There is still a lot more to come this spring. 2014 is the super election year in Sweden, starting with the European Parliament election in May and then the Swedish Riksdag election in September. We in the Association of Foreign affairs will do our best to highlight various subjects related to these two exciting events. This week we arrange a theme week with lectures and debates covering the elections to the European Parliament. This will be followed by a debate on the role of the European Union between Jonas Sjöstedt and Birgitta Olsson on the 31st of March. As if this would not be enough, this year’s Conference on International Affairs in mid-April will cover both the European elections as well as the Swedish ditto. We are very proud of what this organization has achieved so far during this year. We are also very glad to lead an organization that has so many hardworking and devoted members. This brings us to a very important point: soon it is time to elect next year’s board. If you are interested in shaping the association’s future we encourage you to apply! You will not regret it.

Board 2013-2014 President Rasmus Kjulin Vice President Ylva Tallberg Treasurer Niklas Lövgren Secretary Ali Acikgoz Lecture Committee Hannes Petri Melinda Sjunnesson Andreas Nilsson PR committee Niklas Hjelm Smith Sandra Jakobsson Activity Committee Kicki Salmijärvi Maari Alanko Utrikesperspektiv Gustav Wirtén Ivar Johansson Jesper Åkesson Benny Wilbrink Radio UPF Edgar Mannheimer Simon Classon

On behalf of the board, Rasmus Kjulin & Ylva Tallberg President and Vice president of the Association


Career Committee Karolina Schlyter Anna Åberg Travel Committee Anahita Nicoobayan Fredrik Karlsson

Member Information EU-week: 24-31 MArch The Lecture Commitee will organize a series of events honoring the upcoming EU-elections for 2014. The EU-week will start off with a lecture on Monday March 24, followed by a Lobbyism-workshop on Tuesday; a paneldebate with candidates for the European Parliament on Wednesday; and finishing on March 31 with a debate between the Swedish EU-minister and the Left Party’s leader.

Apply for next year’s board It is time to apply for next year’s board, effective as of July 1st 2014 until June 30th 2015. All posts are open for applications and nominations. Applications must include a CV and a brief cover letter, maximum 1 A4 page. Send your application or nomination to by April 5th 2014.Interviews will be held with all applicants in April. The nomination committee will nominate candidates for the Annual Election Meeting which will be held April. Please contact the incumbents if you have any questions regarding the elected posts.

Travel with UPf to INdia The Association of Foreign Affairs will remember Nils Horner, correspondent for Sveriges radio. He was killed on March 11th in Kabul with the microphone in his hand. Without first hand reports from persones like him, our organization would not exist.

Our organization is currently planning a trip to Mumbai and Kerala. The trip will take place in early June, directly after the spring term. Estimated cost 7-8 000 SEK. Duration 10-14 days. For more information, contact the Travel Committee at travel@!”

From the Activity committee


Keep an eye open for a brand new Pickwick in the end of March and our next sittning in the beginning of May! And DON’T miss our next pub night on the 2/4!!




Francesco Kovacs -En intervju med en överlevare från Stalins Gulag

Jag vet inte >> hur många av

mina vänner jag förlorade där

6 Foto: UNT

Den 13 januari fick Utrikespolitiska Föreningen besök av Francesco Kovac, som i nio långa år genomled helvetet i de sovjetiska fånglägren i Sibirien. Utrikesperspektiv fick en pratstund med överlevaren. Text: Marcus Bornlid och Charlotte Tapani

Vad var det värsta med Sibirien? Att varje dag då jag gick ut till arbetet i skogen fanns risken att det var den sista. Jag vet inte hur många av mina vänner jag förlorade där. Hur gjorde du för att inte bli galen? När jag först kom ut i friheten kunde jag vakna om nätterna och skrika “skjut mig inte!”. Jag var rädd att jag fortfarande befann mig i lägret. Sedan, när vi fick våra barn, började det mattas av undan för undan. Detta var också tack vare min hustru, som alltid har varit så förstående. På grund av vad jag har gått igenom har mina barn fått lida en hel del. Så fort det var något kunde min fru säga “men glöm inte vad pappa har gått igenom”. Hon fick trycka ned dem för att de skulle ta hänsyn till mig. Och det är klart, man kan inte undgå att det blir så. Men jag är väldigt tacksam att de hjälpte mig med allt. Varför tror du att nazismens brott mot mänskligheten har blivit mer uppmärksammade än kommunismens? Jag vill inte anklaga någon, det finns olika svar på frågan. Det enda jag egentligen kan säga är att Sovjetunionens propaganda-apparat har varit så massiv att allt det här har kommit i skymundan. Under hela den här perioden var Sovjet stängt

för omvärlden, folk visste ingenting. När de väl började komma därifrån vågade de sällan öppna munnen och berätta vad de hade varit med om. Vi blev varnade, om vi sa något som inte passade dem så var deras armar långa och vi kunde skickas tillbaka till Sibirien. Därför kom det inte fram. Det var 27 år sedan du började hålla dina föreläsningar, vilket innebär att det sammanföll med Sovjetunionens kollaps. Inverkade detta på ditt beslut att börja berätta om dina erfarenheter? På den här tiden var det vanligt att folk åkte runt och berättade om nazismens brott, och då var det några bekanta som sa till mig: ”Francesco, varför åker inte du runt och berättar vad du har varit med om?” På det viset började det. Först höll jag föreläsningar i Uppsala och därpå, ett år senare, fick jag kommunens Solidaritetsstipendium, vilket skapade en ringar-på-vattnet-effekt. Den ena läraren mailade till den andra och berättade om vad jag höll på med, varpå jag fick samtal från olika skolor i hela Sverige där de frågade om jag kunde komma och föreläsa. Jag har varit överallt, från Umeå till Ystad. Dessutom: Helt plötsligt förra året ringde de mig från ungerska ambassaden och gratulerade mig till en utmärkelse från den ungerska regeringen, en guldmedalj, som jag fått för mina föreläsningar. Hela min familj var på plats på ambassaden och tog emot den,

och det bjöds på middag och allting. Det var toppen. Är det inte svårt att hela tiden gå tillbaka och gräva i minnena från tiden i fånglägret? Det kanske märktes några gånger under föreläsningen att jag fick anstränga mig för att inte börja gråta, varenda gång jag berättar den här historien river jag på ett sår som redan har läkt. Det är inte lätt, men jag ser nödvändigheten av att jag gör det, och jag kommer att försöka fortsätta så länge jag bara orkar. För bara två dagar sedan fyllde jag åttiofem år och folk brukar fråga mig när jag ska gå i pension, men då svarar jag alltid: ”inte förrän jag blir hundra”. Vilka lärdomar bör framtida generationer dra av Gulag? Tolerans människor emellan. Att försvara demokratin och värna om de mänskliga rättigheterna. Och att man inte ska ha förutfattade meningar, många gånger skapar människor bilder av saker och ting utan att veta hur de egentligen hänger ihop, och det leder till misstänksamhet mot andra människor. Det är det största problemet vi har att tampas med. Å



“Vi uppmanar den

Egyptiska ledningen att stoppa Klappjakten” Den 19 februari gästade Malin Kärre Utrikespolitiska föreningen. Som svensk ambassadör fanns hon på plats i Kairo från det att det egyptiska upproret befann sig i sin linda, fram tills förra årets militärkupp. Om detta diskuterade vi under hennes besök. Text: Marcus Bornlid

Du har befunnit dig på plats i Kairo i fem år. Retrospektivt, vad har varit den största utmaningen för dig som ambassadör? Det har varit att följa den väldigt dramatiska utvecklingen och att hela tiden skapa nya kontakter. Plötsligt var våra gamla kontakter inte längre relevanta, och eftersom det hela tiden var en sådan turbulens fick vi skapa nya kontakter hela tiden. Och det var inte alltid så enkelt att som svensk, kvinnlig ambassadör gå och träffa salafister och muslimska bröder, men det har jag bara fått göra. Sedan har det naturligtvis varit att göra bedömningen om svenskar ska vistas här eller inte. Under föreläsningen talade du en del om den roll som EU och Sverige har spelat under de egyptiska revolutionsåren. Om du drar det lite kort, hur ser relationen mellan Sverige och Egypten ut idag? Vi har en god bilateral relation till Egypten: vi har handel med


Foto: Ivar Johansson

Egypten, det finns en stor egyptisk ambassad i Stockholm och vi har en stor ambassad i Kairo. Men, det är klart, regimen tycker inte om att vi påpekar saker som har med rättssäkerhet och respekt för de mänskliga rättigheterna att göra. De hävdar att de är utsatta för terrorism och för ett krig mot terroristerna, något som de anser att vi inte förstår oss på. Som en konsekvens av detta hade jag en del samtal på utrikesministeriet som inte alltid var alldeles enkla. Sedan juli föra året har flera tusen människor mist livet, och för närvarande pågår en jakt på oliktänkare i Egypten. Hur ser du på denna utveckling? Tror du att situationen kommer att förvärras? EU är väldigt bekymrade över händelseutvecklingen, och uppmanar den egyptiska ledningen att stoppa klappjakten och att se till att det alltid finns en ordentlig åtalspunkt, att rättegångarna är rättvisa och att folk ska släppas fria om detta inte uppfylls.

Något du i all korthet berörde under föredraget var kvinnornas situation i dagens Egypten. Du nämnde att det fanns tecken som tydde på att saker på var på väg i rätt riktning under revolutionen, då män och kvinnor protesterade sida vid sida mot Mubaraks regim. Hur anser du att detta har utvecklats? Efter revolutionen utvecklades en ny metod mot kvinnor. Vi har sett otroligt mycket organiserat sexuellt våld mot kvinnliga demonstranter och vid olika manifestationer. Det har varit helt förfärligt och ibland har det varit svårt att verifiera vilka som ligger bakom det. Ibland har det varit provokatörer och ibland får man känslan att det har varit säkerhetstjänsten själv som har gjort det, och ibland bara unga grabbar som inte förstår bättre. Jag ser detta som ett av Egyptens största problem idag. Å

“Vi har sett otroligt mycket organiserat sexuellt våld mot kvinnliga demonstranter. Det har varit helt förfärligt”, säger Malin Kärre.

Krisen i Egypten - Den 3:e juli 2013 avsattes Muhammad Mursi som Egyptens president av den egyptiska armén, ledd av Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. - Al-Sisi satte Mursi i husarrest och grep flera andra ledare för det muslimska brödrskapet. - Anhängare till Mursi och det muslimska brödraskapet ansåg att det handlade om en statskupp, och samlades till massdemonstrationer. - Den 14:e augusti 2013 stormade polisen två av Mursi-anhängarnas protestläger. Enligt det egyptiska hälsoministeriet dödades 638 personer denna dag.

Foto: Moud Barthez

Sedan den egyptiska revolutionen startade den 25:e januari 2011 beräknas drygt 1700 människor ha dödats som följd av turbulensen i landet.



orld brief.


2 75

Persones per square kilometer in Mongilia. The smallest density in the world.

2. Only Home Made

Peope died in the clashes between demonstrators and police in Kiev, Ukraine, according to Reuters. The protestors claim that the number is more than 100.

3. Karatecop

The Brazilian police have tried tear gas, batons and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds protesting against the world cup in Sao Palo. Last month they tried a different technique. Karate. There has been a lot of demonstrations throughout Brazil as the coming World Cup has become a symbol of the governments profligacy. As the protesting crowds have grown the police have started to try new ways to disperse them. The most resent one is a unit of police officers trained in martial arts. The idea is that this method will be less violent. The first time the unit was tested two protestors and five policemen were arrested.

Pentagon has passed a new law which says that all American flags have to be one hundred percent ”made in the USA”, says AFP. Pentagon has a big demand for the stars and stripes. They deliver all the flags for American navy ships and military bases. The flags have already been made in the US but the colors for dyeing the fabric and the fabric itself could have been imported, until now. The law have gotten a lot of reactions on social networks and mostly positive. ”No veterans coffin should be draped in cheap fabric made abroad” says one facebook user.



1. 4.


Cities with most billionaiers 1. Moscow - 84 billionaires 2. New York - 62 billionaires 3. (tie) Hong Kong - 43 billionaires 3. (tie) London - 43 billionaires

4. Every President Needs an Ostrich When the president of the Ukraine Victor Janukovytj fled his county in February his palace was opened for the public. As thousands Ukraine flocked the estate, they found more than golden chandeliers and gaudy interior decorating. They found Janukovytj’s private zoo. The exact number of animals in the private zoo is unknown, but it did contain a number of different species. There were everything from more ordinary farmyard animals like pigs to more exotic specimens like peacocks, ostriches and kangaroos. Except for the zoo, the former president’s estate was equipped with an underground shooting range, a tennis court, a bowling alley and a spa. More still, there was an entire golf course with 18 holes which alone is estimated to have cost at least three million dollars to build.

5. Istanbul - 37 billionaires 6. Sao Paulo - 26 billionaires 7. Mumbai - 24 billionaires 8. Seoul - 23 billionaires 9. Beijing - 21 billionaires 10. (tie) Dallas - 18 billionaires 10. (tie) Paris - 18 billionaires

By: Simon Fridolfsson, Ivar Johansson and Gustav WirtĂŠn


200 Peace Years of

What’s the price of Swedish neutrality? In August 2014, Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace – a rare accomplishment for a European nation - during two centuries of political turmoil, including two world wars.


ut how come Sweden ended up as the most peaceful nation in Europe? Or should we perhaps ask ourselves: Is Sweden really the most peaceful nation in Europe?

Ironically, the idea of the Swedish neutrality policy was developed by one of Napoleon’s greatest marshals,

Is Sweden really >>the most peaceful nation in Europe?

Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte. In Sweden, he is better known as king Karl XIV Johan. The circumstances surrounding the revolutionary idea to put a French marshal on the Swedish throne, were chaotic to say the least. Due to aggressive foreign policies throughout the 1600’s - 1700’s, Sweden was constantly engaged in wars with its arch enemies Russia and Denmark. Because of this, the Swedish state’s economy was slow-


ly deteriorating – leaving the army badly equipped to defend the vast empire. From the early 12th century until 1809, Finland had been a natural part of the Swedish empire. However, when the Russians invaded in 1808 the Swedish army was not capable of defending Finland, and the war ended in a disastrous defeat. The peace treaty of 1809 divided the Swedish empire in half, separating Sweden and Finland – which instead was incorporated into Russia. This national trauma created a power vacuum in Sweden as the king, Gustav IV Adolf, was blamed and removed from the throne in a coup d’etat. The new appointed king, Karl XIII, was however childless. His successor was instead to be elected in 1810 – and the choice was Jean Baptiste Bernadotte. The purpose of electing him, was to make allies with France and reconquer Finland from the Russians. However, Jean Baptiste actually despised Napoleon – and saw his opportunity to defeat him by using the Swedish army. So, to everyone’s great surprise, Jean Baptiste allied Sweden with Russia and defeated Napoleon in 1814. Denmark on the other hand, had supported Napoleon throughout the war – and Jean Baptiste thus had an excuse to continue the war into Danish territory. His goal was to compensate the loss of

Friendly with all other >>nations and strongly linked to our neighbours, we look on no one as our enemy Prime Minister Per-Ablin Hansson at the eve of the German invasion of Poland


trialised nation. Without the constant wars, the population grew and became wealthier in a rate previously unprecedented. But the policy also kept Sweden from taking opportunities from the raging European wars. During the Crimean war in the mid 1850’s, the British attacked and defeated the Russia in the Baltic sea, offering the Åland islands back to Sweden in order to secure the islands from Russian military presence. But the Swedish king was not interested in taking power over the islands, despite the fact that they are situated just a few kilometres of the Swedish coast. By the Russians, the act would have been considered an act of war and the consequences would have been dire. Instead he suggested to make the Åland Islands a demilitarised zone under Russian command. The suggestion was accepted, much to the disappointment of the Ålandians as they sincerely wished to be rejoined with Sweden. Ironically Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, one of Napoleons marhals, was the founder of Swedish neutrality.

Finland by instead annexing Norway – which at this point had been Danish for nearly 400 years. The Swedish superiority was overwhelming and in just a month, a peace treaty was signed – were Denmark seceded Norway to Sweden. However, the Norwegians did not want to be included in a new Swedish empire, and proclaimed it self independent – which was unacceptable for Jean Baptiste. During the summer of 1814, he led the Swedish troops into Norway – defeating the Norwegian army in the battle of Kjölberg’s bridge on August 14th. This battle became the last battle ever fought by a Swedish army. Jean Baptiste Bernadotte knew well the importance of keeping political stability by preserving peace. What he started was basically a neutrality doctrine that would keep Sweden out of international conflicts for nearly 200 years. This policy enabled Sweden to develop from an underdeveloped agrarian nation into a modern indus-


But the policy also kept Sweden from helping neighbouring Denmark in 1864 when the Preussians invaded the southern parts of the country. Despite promising help, the Swedish king never sent troops to aid the Danes, as he feared to fall in disfavour with the Preussians. The strategy was successful, as Preussia soon developed into Germany, a nation that would be in the centre of European conflicts for many years to come. During the early 1900’s Sweden transformed into a democratic state in the shadow of the world wars. While many wanted to join the wars – the government refused. However, during the second world war, this policy made Sweden a bystander to the Nazi’s war atrocities. While the holocaust killed millions of people, Sweden helped the Nazis by selling iron ore to the German war industry and offering free passage for the German troops across the country. These were acts of fear,

as the Swedish government knew well what they would risk by denying the Germans these services. However, Hitler never saw Sweden as an enemy, much because of the lenient Swedish policies towards Germany the last 100 years. He actually considered Sweden an integral part of the “Aryan Empire” and never doubted that Sweden gladly would join him after the end of the war. But as the war ended in German defeat, the Soviet union rose to power – and Sweden once again had to adapt in order to stay out of harms way. As Sweden had received many refugees from the Soviet occupied Baltic states, that the Soviets considered traitors and defectors, the Soviets demanded them to be deported back to the Baltics. Even though knowing these refugees awaited prison, torture and death in the Soviet Union, the Swedish government wanted to a peace the Soviets in order to avoid conflict. Many refugees committed suicide and many mutilated themselves in order to avoid deportation, but most of them were still sent back where they faced prison, labour camps and death. During the Cold war, Sweden played a key role as neutral moderator between the Eastern and Western block. The Swedish prime minister Olof Palme often used this situation to make controversial statements against the USA for its war atrocities – but since the Soviet Union were closer to Sweden he was rarely to be as critical towards them. The Swedish government did for example, constantly deny that the Baltic states were under any form of Soviet occupation. But after 1991, the security situation changed rapidly. As the Soviet union collapsed, the new Swedish government were among the first to acknowledge the new sovereign states. In just 10 years, Sweden transformed from a

isolated and protectionist country into a EU-member open to international cooperation both in trade and military. This openness created a heated debate about the Swedish neutrality – is Sweden still neutral? As Sweden sent troops to Afghanistan, Kosovo and Libya, it is possible to argue that the new millennium has meant the end of the Swedish neutrality. However, Sweden still remains outside NATO and maintains its military independence, only agreeing to send troops on peace keeping missions. The world that Jean Baptiste Bernadotte knew is long gone – but it is obvious that his ideas of a neutral Sweden still permeate the Swedish foreign policy. As the world keeps changing and Sweden becomes more dependent on other countries for its security, it is possible that the battle of Kjölberg’s bridge will have a successor in a near future. Å

Text: Adrian Taleny

During World War II, Sweden allowed the German Army to use the Swedish railroad network to send soldiers on permission in Germany.

Sweden in World War II - Roughly 11 000 Swedes fought in the war, nearly 10 000 of them in Finland. - Thirteen direct bomb raids hit Sweden. - 2000 Swedish sailors were killed.





- The political role of coffeehouses in the Middle East Drinking coffee and smoking are part of a consumer habit that have led to the creation of coffeehouses. In the Middle East, the coffeehouses have played a special role in the many coups and revolutions of the region.


offee first came from Ethiopia and Yemen, where it had emerged as a popular beverage in the late fifteenth century. It later found its way into Mecca, Saudi Arabia and travelled further into Cairo which had the largest population in the region at the time. The coffee beans were popular at Egyptian markets and the city soon became the hub that spread coffee throughout the eastern Mediterranean all the way to Istanbul where the first coffeehouse was set up. The establishment of coffeehouses

Coffeehouses >>created spots

for gossiping and discussions


created a location where a loose and open atmosphere could grow. This was however not met with excitement from local authorities that tried to ban coffee and tobacco. Members of the Ulama, the Muslim religious establishment, at this time compared the intoxicating effect of the beverage with the one of drinking wine. The smoke that came from smoking was described as being fire from hell and, as it was introduced by Europeans, it was seen as a Christian contamination of the lands of Islam. The banning of coffee and tobacco were at times successful but eventually didn’t last. Even members of social and religious elites eventually came to appreciate the use of tobacco and coffee, which made it more difficult for the authorities to suppress the use of it. Coffeehouses that emerged created spots for gossiping and discussions and lead to a diverse cross-section of society. It has been thanks to this cross-section of society that started then that the coffee and tobacco culture became the hub of exchanging opinions and conversations. When travelling in Middle East today, coffeehouses are a common feature

Photo: Eric Vernier

when walking down the streets of cities like Beirut, Damascus and Cairo. All of these cities have seen coups and revolutions take place, and still today have open wounds because of political issues that led to major conflicts. At Havana Café in Damascus it is said that the principles of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party’s ideology were established. This was also here were Hafez al-Assad plotted a coup which enabled al-Assad family to seize power in Syria. Hamra street in Beirut is known for the cafés situated there that have played an important role for the political activity of the entire region. Café Riche in Cairo is also one of the coffeehouses in the Middle East that has a history of people coming together and being able to join different political associations and spread political agendas. Cairo, Beirut and Damascus today are important cities in the region as in determining the political agenda. In Damascus there is a civil war, in Beirut tensions are growing due to the conflict in Syria. The Muslim Brotherhood

that took power in 2011 and ousted Mubarak in Egypt are today replaced by Egyptian military. Given the fact that coffeehouses have been a common place for political activity and reason for change on the political scene, the likelihood that the next big political change in Middle East will be planned at a coffeehouse is very big. Å

The Arab Socialist ideology of the Ba’ath party as well as Hafez al-Assads military coup in Syria was planned at the Havana Café in Damascus

Text: Anja Skoglund

Coffee and Tobacco in the Middle East - Coffee was first used to stay awake during nightly mediation sessions. - Tobacco was first used as a panacea for for headache but later became appreciated for more recreational use. - Tobacco often ended up in the beard of the users which made it an inappropriate habit among the middle and upper class.


North Korea’s other border In contrast to North Korea’s hyper-militarised border with South Korea, their border with China in the north is both longer and not as well guarded. It is also one of North Korea’s few lifelines to the outside world.


hina and North Korea share a 1400 kilometer long border, mostly following the Yalu and Tumen rivers. In this northeast Asian hinterland, far from any Western sphere of influence, business across the border is routine and plenty of tourists come here to catch a glimpse of the Hermit Kingdom from the Chinese side. It is also where the great majority of North Korean defectors escape the country. The bridges crossing these rivers are in many ways North Korea’s lifelines to the outside world, as they help transporting the flow of goods and people between the two countries. North Korea relies heavily on China for both food and energy supplies: the trade last year amounted to six billion dollars, more than 90 percent of North Korea’s foreign trade.

Much of the commerce is centered around Dandong, one of the biggest Chinese cities bordering North Korea. This northeastern part of China is otherwise better known for being a grey industrial rust belt with notoriously bad air quality. The city of


Dandong sticks out: it has a vibrant Chinese-Korean minority and also plenty of North Korean business people and migrants, both legal and illegal. It is probably the most important physical expression of the alliance between the two countries: at least here they manage to uphold a decent working relationship, despite China slowly growing tired of Kim Jong Un’s unpredictability. Tourism to the area is also on the rise, both among Chinese and from people around the world. They are eager to look across the dividing river to observe one of the most peculiar and closed countries in the world, and tourists even rent boats to come closer. From the Chinese side, there is almost no sign of any Demilitarised Zone-style fences and armed guards; only water seems to separate the two countries. Some North Koreans come to Dandong for business trips, others to set up small shops or work in restaurants. It is a rare opportunity to get a glimpse of life across the river, and also a chance to earn money. However, some reports claim that most of the money earned is collected by the North Korean government, which has been the case when they dispatched workers to other parts of the world. Last year, China issued close to 100,000 work visas to North Korean citizens, and it keeps increasing every year. Some of them form a more permanent existence in China,

Defectors Rights: North Korean defectors are guaranteed citizenship in South Korea. Many have big difficulties adapting to their new life, and their background can be a heavy social stigma. There have even been cases where defectors choose to return to North Korea from the South. Last year Laos deported a group of nine young North Korean refugees back to Pyongyang, causing international outrage.


The situation reminds us of a darker side of the border: the illegal migrants, or defectors, who risk everything to escape, fully aware that their relatives back home might be punished. The chances of slipping through here unnoticed are greater than at the South Korean border, though the risk is far from over even if they succeed in making it into China. Chinese authorities consider them illegal migrants and regularly deport defectors back to North Korea, where they most likely face imprisonment and even execution. Once in China, there are basically two ways out. One is to slip into South Korea’s Beijing embassy or any of its consulates. Chinese authorities are fully aware of this tactic: the embassy and the consulates are closely guarded and monitored by police to make sure North Korean defectors cannot enter. The other way is to continue to another country bordering China, usually Mongolia or Thailand, who both welcome North Korean refugees and can help them reach Seoul in South Korea. UNHCR estimates that tens of thousands of refugees are more or less

Photo: Joseph A Ferris

marrying Chinese citizens and having children. Their legal status remain quite unclear, since it is still considered a crime to leave North Korea unless all papers are in order to settle down in China.

permanently living and hiding in the Chinese countryside, afraid of deportation. Many risk being abused and held in slave-like conditions, forced to hard labor. Many women refugees end up being victims of sex trafficking, and are sold as sex slaves to remote parts of northern China. Some take the risk and stay in big cities, with the hope of blending into the Chinese-Korean community, though this means living in constant fear of discovery and deportation. Å

Left: Map of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with it’s 1400 km long border to China. Top: View from China towards North Korea. Bottom: People on the North Korean countryside

Text: Filip Sandén

It is considered >>a crime to leave

north korea





One day, Ji Min Kang decided to leave everything behind and escape North Korea. We met him to ask about his escape, leaving his family behind, and how life is inside the most closed country in the world.


Text: Gustav Wirtén and Ivar Johansson

Photo: Ivar Johansson

Can you tell us something about your background?

about the outside world as you did?

I grew up in Pyongyang, the capital. My father is a writer and my mother is a cellist. So my family background could be described as elitist - I received good education and came from a good family.

Yes, they do. Especially since the economic hardships during the 90’s when we suffered from food shortage. Many things, food and other necessities, were smuggled illegally to the country from China and South Korea. As Chinese and South Korean products started to circulate, our eyes opened and we understood that life there was very different.

How did you get out of North Korea? I left the county in 2005 through the Chinese border. From China I went to a third country where I sought asylum at the South Korean embassy. That’s the usual route for North Korean refugees. How did you pass the border? I received help from a broker. It goes without saying that it’s very risky to pass the border, but the big danger isn’t passning the border, the big danger is if you get caught in China. If that would have happened to me, I would have been sent back to North Korea and there I would have been punished hard, possibly with death. What triggered the escape? My mother left the country before me and helped arranging my escape. Without her help, it would have been very hard even getting to the border from Pyongyang. Living in North Korea, I was aware that people had better lives in the world outside. I wanted to have a better life, that’s why I left. Does the common man in North Korea know as much

Do the government still have as much control over society as they used to before the economy collapsed? The state’s control over the citizens is still very strong. There is a big secret police, and there are lots of other restrictive measures that work. There have been a few attempts from the people to rise, even to kill the former leader Kim Jong Il, but all these attempts have been discovered early and stopped.

Do you still have family in North Korea? What do they think about your escape?

How much did you experience the oppression in your daily life?

Yes, my father is still there, I left him. Through the broker who helped me leave the country, I have received some letters from my father. He says he understands why I left. But other family members probably hold grudges agains me - having a family member who defected is very bad for their prospects of climbing in North Korean society. They are probably not so happy.

In North Korea, one of every ten households must report to the secret police. This means that North Koreans monitor each other both privately and in the work places. I’m sure that I was monitored and spied on, but I’m not sure who did it and how often. But I know that three days after I had defected, the State Security Department knew that I had left.

How is everyday life in North Korea?

Since people are getting more knowledge about the outside world, is there a feeling of revolution?

It really differs from who you ask of course. But I would say everyday life is very monotonous. People go to work early every morning and come home late. Occasionally people will go out to drink together, but it’s not allowed to drink late at night, so that kind of limits the fun. In the past, you were not allowed to gather in groups bigger than five people, which really constrained all social life. But right now, it’s a bit better.

Personally I can’t see a revolution like the Arab Spring coming any time soon. If that would happen, I don’t think it would come from the common people, it would probably come from the more privileged classes that have learnt about life in the outside world. But all the previous attempts by the privileged classes to rise agains the regime have failed. Å





After 30 years of war on them, the attitudes towards drugs are changing in all corners of the world. Who’s using the drugs? Who’s making them? Who’s a victim and who’s a criminal? We went looking and found a struggle between moralism and pragmatism. We found a world in change.



en historia om värdighet 24

Text: Kajsa Stolt

Foto: Gustav WirtĂŠn

Efter att ha sett missbruket på Vesterbro i Köpenhamn på nära håll i 15 år bestämde sig Michael Lodberg Olsen för att fråga missbrukarna själva vad de ville. Det var början på en resa som skulle förändra hela Danmarks missbrukspolitik.



fter en och en halv timmes bussresa från Lund till Danmark stiger vi av bussen i ett dimmigt och söndagstrött Köpenhamn. Vi beger oss mot Halmtorget i centrala Vesterbro och organisationen MINORITYS lokaler, där vi ska möta Michael Lodberg Olsen för att prata om hans sociala engagemang.

Vesterbro, beläget mitt i centrala Köpenhamn, har länge haft dåligt rykte på grund av att stadsdelen utgör centrum för stadens narkotika- och prostitutionshandel. De bosatta i området har under en lång tid kämpat med att få bort stämpeln som Köpenhamns sociala skamfläck, men det har tagit tid för politikerna att agera mot utsattheten i området. Till sist fick invånarna nog och tog saken i egna händer. Michael Lodberg Olsen visar en bild tagen precis utanför hans kontor. Den föreställer en ung kvinna ihopsjunken på marken intill en husvägg. Hon är mitt inne i ett rus.

Vi kan inte bara >>titta på drogerna, vi måste se människorna och samhället också

- Hon hade varit ute och sugit kuk tills hon hade tillräckligt med pengar för att köpa knark, berättar Michael när vi möter honom på hans kontor som är beläget ett stenkast från Halmtorget. Över en kopp kaffe berättar han djupgående och från hjärtat om läget i området. Han berättar om hur politikerna handskades med situationen på helt fel sätt – om hur de till och med bommade


igen de offentliga toaletterna i området för att missbrukare använde dem som injektionsrum. - Det är enkelt att förändra världen om man frågar de som har problem, fortsätter Michael, och berättar om hur han genom en dialog med missbrukarna kom på idén att ha särskilda utrymmen att ta droger på, rum * Fixe a termen det som på danska ansk er den d kra plats an kallas fixerum*. k sä - De ville ha ett ställe att vara på. De hatar att stå på gatan, säger han resolut.

e för ukar r issbr e där m roger und ta d uppsikt läkar

Michael fortsätter att berätta om hur rädda droganvändarna är för att överdosera. Det är därför många missbrukare, som den här unga kvinnan, injicerar på offentlig plats. Om något händer vill de inte vara ensamma. - Jag såg henne falla ihop, och då blev det mitt ansvar som medborgare att gå dit för att se om hon levde eller om jag behövde ringa 112. Det var inte värdigt för henne och det var inte värdigt för mig. Det är ett enormt ansvar för det lokala samhället att handskas med de här problemen. Det kommer mellan 600-800 människor till Vesterbro varje dag för att använda droger. Det uppstår lätt en konflikt mellan de boende i området, som ser drogerna som ett problem, och missbrukarna, som istället ser drogerna som en lösning, ett sätt att fly från sitt liv. Michael, som har bott i området i över 20 år, bestämde sig för att agera. - Jag började med att starta ett café 2008. Det var en kombination av ett café och en vårdcentral. Vi gav dem tillgång till toaletter och gav dem riktig mat gratis. Bråken i området minskade radikalt när alla missbrukare hade fått

Det är >>enkelt att

förändra världen om man frågar de som har problem



Till vänster: Alla som besöker fixerummen fyller i namn, kön och vilken drog de tog. Till höger: Den numera stationerade “Fixelancen”

ordentlig mat. Det blev enklare att nå fram till dem och de var inte lika arga. - Vi tillät missbrukarna injicera på toaletten och röka crack i rökrummet. Polisen visste om detta, och var faktiskt ganska nöjda. Eftersom alla missbrukare fanns på caféet slapp polisen jaga dem och de boende i området ringde inte lika ofta för att klaga på att någon knarkade i trappuppgången. Men när myndigheterna i Köpenhamn fick reda på det var vi tvungna att lägga ner verksamheten. Under de kommande tre åren försökte de, nu under föreningsnamnet Fixerum, hitta nya lösningar för områdets missbrukare. Föreningen fick tillgång till en källarlokal nära Centralstationen där de började inreda ett

för oss handlade >>detta om att rädda liv

nytt fixerum, men projektet stoppades dagen innan det var färdigt att tas i bruk. De var tvungna att tänka om. Att finna en optimal lösning visade sig vara svårt. De motarbetades av både myndigheterna och de boende i området ingen ville ha ett fixerum på sin gata.

Till vänster: “Visst är det riskfyllt, men det är för en bra sak”, säger mannen som tömmer uppsamlingskärlet för använda kanyler. Till höger: Använda kanyler.

- Vi förstod att vi inte kunde driva ett bra fixerum om de boende i området hatade oss, så vi tänkte att vi kunde sätta hjul på fixerummen och flytta runt dem på Vesterbro. Vi började leta efter gamla ambulanser. - Vi skapade organisationen Det mobile fixerum i mars 2011, men hade problem att hitta en gammal ambulans. Ambulansföretaget Falck var tveksamma. Men till slut gick Frank Hvam, en känd dansk komiker som bodde i

området, in med 50 000 kronor så att vi kunde köpa en gammal ambulans i södra Tyskland. Den sattes i bruk den 12:e september 2011. - Egentligen räknade vi med att vår verksamhet skulle stängas ner direkt, och att resten av arbetet skulle ske i domstolen. Men de mobila fixerummen blev aldrig stoppade, så vi kunde fortsätta driva vår verksamhet på gatan. Därför blev det dyrare än vad vi hade räknat med. Jag betalar fortfarande av en skuld till min pappa från den tiden. - De boende i området var mer positiva till de mobila fixerummen därför att de kunde flyttas, ingen specifik plats blev belastad. Dessutom vann vi mycket på att vi som drev fixerummen var boende i området själva. - Sedan vi öppnade det första fixerummet på Vesterbro har det skett 120 överdoser i rummen. Ingen har dött, säger Michael när vi frågar om de största fördelarna med projektet. - För varje missbrukare som dör i överdoser får 25 allvarliga men. Så kostnaden för samhället är enorm. Fixerummen sparar väldigt mycket pengar åt välfärdssystemet. Men under 2012 började dock någonting hända. I juni stiftades en lag där det fastställdes att kommunen hade rätt att driva fixerum. Politikerna blev mer positivt inställda, och meddelande i augusti samma år att de ville köpa faciliteterna och ta över driften. I och med att kommunen tog över verksamheten öppnades dessutom två permanenta injektionsrum på Vesterbro. - Vårt uppdrag var slutfört, ett lyckligt slut! Säger Michael med ett leende. - Kommunen gör ett bra jobb i stort, men den lokala förankringen har man tappat. Det är inte bara vi som startade


Fixerum - Det första fixerumment på Vesterbro öppnade 2010. - Sedan fixerummen öppnade har 120 överdoser inträffat i rummen, men ingen har dött. - 600-800 människor söker sig till Vesterbro varje dag för att köpa och använda droger. - Mellan 2011 och 2012 minskade antalet dödliga överdoser i Köpenhamn med 27 procent. Mycket tack vare fixerumen. - Sedan öppnandet 2011 har fixerummen haft 210 000 besökare.

projektet som inte finns kvar i verksamheten, alla volontärer har också lämnat. Det är extremt omotiverade att arbeta volontärt åt kommunen. De frivilliga ges inget ansvar nu. Vi hade många frivilliga unga sjuksköterskestudenter som var helt fantastiska, vi gav dem ansvar över liv och död. Alla arbetade hårt för att bemöta missbrukarna som jämlikar, öga mot öga. Kaffet är uppdrucket och vi går ut på den intilliggande gården för en rundtur. Femtio meter åt höger ligger en av Köpenhamns populäraste utställningslokaler, åt andra hållet ett välbesökt museum. Dessa skiljs åt av en parkering i vars ena hörn vi skymtar en gul ambulans med en skylt framför sidodörren där det står ”ÅBENT”, med tydliga bokstäver. ”Vi kallar den för Fixelance”, säger Michael muntert och nickar menande mot ambulansen innan han svänger in på en undanskymd gård. Runt husväggarna finns bänkar och bord uppställda i ett virrvarr och mitt på gården står en övergiven busskur. Det rör sig några människor mellan borden, busskuren och de intilliggande byggnaderna. Det finns någonting som ser ut som gula brevlådor uppställda lite här och var, som visar sig vara uppsamlingskärl för använda kanyler. Vi hör dörren till det mobila fixerummet öppnas och en man i 50-årsålden får ta stöd av en sjuksköterska för att kunna ta sig ut. Vi går närmare för att ta oss en titt. Bilen är enkelt inredd, med några IKEA-pallar och ett bord med lådor innehållandes kanyler i olika storlekar, sterila kompresser, första hjälpen-kit och diverse andra saker som kan tänkas behövas. Sjuksköterskan, som alltid är närvarande när folk använder fixerummet, visar en lista där personalen fyller i besökarens namn, ålder, vilken drog som togs och hur länge personen stannade. - Ni skulle ha varit här i julas, inflikar Michael. Då var det julpyntat!


Sedan kommunen tagit över fixerummen har Michael gått vidare till nya projekt. Han berättar om ANTIDOTE, ett projekt som går ut på att sprida grundläggande första hjälpen-träning och Naloxen* i kretsarna på Vesterbro. - Fixerummen är ovärderliga, men de hjälper bara mot det öppna missbruket. De flesta som dör av överdoser sitter faktiskt hemma. ANTIDOTE handlar och att sprida grundläggande första hjälpen-utbildning och Naloxen i de här kretsarna. Detta kan minska dödligheten vid överdoser med 50 procent, det visar erfarenheter från liknande projekt i USA. - Vår inspiration är al-Qaida. Vi vill skapa ett stort nätverk där missbrukare och deras familjer och vänner kan lära sig första hjälpen och få tillgång till medel så de kan hjälpa varandra. Man kan aldrig hjälpa sig själv vid en överdos, därför vill vi starta ett nätverk. Vi frågar Michael varför han tror att det tagit så lång tid för politiker och myndighetspersoner att ändra uppfattning. Han blickar ut över gården och svarar: - Jag förstår att politikerna stänger ögonen och drömmer om ett drogfritt samhälle. Jag tycker inte heller om vad som sker på gatan här på Vesterbro. Men det sker, vare sig vi vill eller inte. Vi måste ta oss an problemen på ett mer pragmatiskt sätt. Fixerummen och Antidote-projektet är bara början. Vi kan inte bara titta på drogerna, vi måste se människorna och samhället också. - Kriget mot droger har blivit ett krig mot människor, avslutar Michael Loberg Olsen med några omsorgsfullt valda ord innan vi skakar hand och beger oss mot centralstationen. Å



Konsekvensen av samhällets nolltolerans mot droger blir i slutändan att människor dör - Elina Pahnke och Joanna Herskovits om svensk missbrukspolitik



verige har enligt europeiska mått mätt hög drogrelaterad dödlighet; det är mer än dubbelt så vanligt i Sverige än i övriga EU-länder att dö till följd av missbruk. År 2012 noterades den högsta narkotikadödligheten hittills i Sverige ändå är synen på vård av missbrukare väldigt förlegad. Synen på vård präglas av moralism snarare än kunskap - en syn som utgår från att renlighet är det enda slutgiltiga målet. Uruguay legaliserade nyligen användandet av cannabis och Obama menar att marijuana inte är farligare än alkohol. Samtidigt hörs ett ramaskri från motståndare som nervöst vill stoppa ett liberalare förhållningssätt till knark. Mediabilden är tudelad – och därför också totalt onyanserad. Knark är bra eller knark är dåligt. Så långt når analysen när droger diskuteras i offentligheten. Förespråkarna målas upp som ett gäng flummare som gillar att röka på och motståndarna blir deras virtuella föräldrar. Någonstans i drogdebatten går vi vilse - och glömmer vad som faktiskt diskuteras. Missbrukspolitiken vilseleder människor att tro att missbruk uppstår ur ett vakuum. Vi lär oss att missbrukare ställs inför frågan: - Vill du knarka? och att de sedan efter rationellt övervägande svarar -Absolut! I denna rationella modell ryms inte den faktiska problematik som gör att människor både hamnar i och har svårt att lämna ett missbruk. Missbruket i sig ses som en isolerad föreeteelse, ett personligt misslyckande till vilket man har sig själv att skylla. Samtidigt målas missbrukaren upp som en infantil varelse, oförmögen att veta sitt eget bästa. Oberoende av vem personen är eller vilka erfarenheter som ligger till grund för missbruket så handlar drogpolitiken alltid om renhet och inte om en anpassning till beroendet. Synen på missbrukare präglar synen på missbruksvård. Missbrukaren stigmatiseras och skuldbeläggs medan anledningarna till missbruket kvarstår. Svaret stavas inte alltid att bli ren från droger - vilket i många fall är en

förutsättning för att få vård i Sverige. En kriminalisering av droger skapar en stigmatisering av missbrukare. Vården ersätts med straff, söker du hjälp finns risken att åka dit om du dyker upp påverkad. Detta resulterar inte bara i missbrukarens dåliga självbild - konsekvensen av samhällets nolltolerans mot droger blir i slutändan att människor dör. I samhällets ögon är missbrukaren en fri varelse som tycker om att bli hög och därför väljer att bli det. Bilden av narkomaner präglas av Legalize it!-skyltar och t-shirtar med Marujianablad; ingen skillnad görs mellan att nyttja knark för sitt eget nöjes skull och att vilja överleva. Beroendet som kvarstår hänvisas till smutsiga nålar och smutsiga droger snarare än att samhället erbjuder säkra platser att ta droger på. Det är en svartvit bild av droger som präglar medialandskapet. Ytligt får vi höra utspel från Obama och uppdateringar från länder som har en annorlunda drogpolitik, men det stannar där. I Danmark visas exempel på ett simpelt men livsavgörande initiativ, att erbjuda rena sprutor. Ett liknande förslag har drivits igenom i Stockholm - men flera år senare har ingen endaste organisation, hyresvärd eller kommunal fastighet velat upplåta sina lokaler till verksamheten. Nolltoleranspolitiken får företräde. Vem tjänar egentligen på denna renlighet? Innerstaden ‘städas upp’, och som på många andra platser förpassas missbrukare till platser som enbart upprätthåller och försämrar missbruket. Missbrukarnas röst osynliggörs eftersom ingen någonsin frågar: vilken vård behövs och vilken vård hjälper? Nollsummespelet skördar offer, medan makthavare plockar effektivitetspoäng. Det är dags att samhället stannar upp och omvärderar vad som är viktigast att upprätthålla: en förlegad moralism eller ett människoliv?

Joanna Herskovits läser Juridik. Elina Pahnke läser statsvetenskap och driver bloggen


HÖLJT I DUNKEL - Drogslangens hemliga språk Drogslang är den typen av slang som förekommer hos grupper som är i kontakt med eller missbrukar narkotika. Drogslang är på det stora hela mycket influerad av engelska, men även ord från andra språk bidrar till drogslangens mångfald.


rogens geografiska ursprung kan spela en viktig roll: drogslang som har att göra med hasch innehåller ofta lånord från arabiskan, medan för kokain är det spanska som gäller. När man importerar en drog kan man säga att man även importerar delar av en begreppsapparatur som hör ihop med drogen i fråga. Men det är svårt att utmana engelskans dominerande ställning inom drogslangen på ett internationellt plan.

Drogslangens >>främsta Syfte är att skapa gemenskap


Om ett drogslangsuttryck sprids brett kan det efter ett tag tas upp i standardspråket. På spanska har narco som betyder ’knark’ (från narcotraficante - en person som handlar med droger) blivit ett prefix som verkar ha normaliserats helt. Det har gett upphov till narcopolíticos ’knarkpolitiker’ eller narcocorridos, en musikgenre som idealiserar kartellerna och deras riskfyllda livsstil. Dessa sammansättningar och många fler används livligt i dagspressen och media. Drogslangens funktion är dubbel: man vill visa att man avviker från det standardiserade samhället och att man utgör en egen starkt sammansvetsad subkultur. Det är lätt att tro att drogslangens funktion är att förhindra allmänheten från att förstå vad man talar om, precis som ett hemligt språk men så är inte fallet: - Drogslangens främsta funktion är, precis som för vanlig slang, att skapa gemenskap. Den har inte funktionen att undanhålla information. Den specifika slangen har med grupptillhörighet och identitet i subkulturen att göra, säger Maja Lindfors Viklund, som forskar om drogslang vid Göteborgs universitet.

I takt med att nya droger introduceras förändras också drogslangen.

Foto: Neil Moralee

Hemlighetsstämpeln kanske uppstår just av att det finns så lite interaktion mellan missbrukare och resten av samhället och att drogslangen historiskt sett varit påverkad av språk som majoritetskulturen inte förstod så bra. Finns det då några vanliga bildningsmekanismer av drogslang? Om man blickar bakåt i tiden är metaforen den mest använda principen. Att knyta en drog till vissa egenskaper som man får genom att ta den eller till vissa fysiska egenskaper som drogen besitter är två vanliga sätt. På så vis syftar happy cigarette på en marijuanajoint för den förväntade effekten är att man blir på bra humör av att röka den. Crackbitar av kokain kallas ibland för french fries för att de har en lätt gulaktig färg. Andra mekanismer är att man tar ett existerande ord och låter det undergå olika ljudförändringar, använder ordlekar, akronymer, förkortningar eller lägger på en slangifierande ändelse. I

sin avhandling “Exotismer, romanticismer och vanliga överdrifter” förklarar Maja Lindfors Viklund en princip som går ut på att man använder den första bokstaven av det generiska namnet på drogen och sen kompletterar med andra bokstäver för att skapa antingen ett egennamn eller ett substantiv: heroin kan med denna princip kallas för Henry eller horse (eller helt enkelt H). ”8” eller eight är också slang för denna drog eftersom h är den åttonde bokstaven i alfabetet. Men denna slanggenerator verkar ha förändrats med tiden berättar hon:

crackbitar av >>kokain kallas ibland French Fries


- Många droger som används idag är så kallade syntetiska droger (och fabrikstillverkade) där drognamnen mest är initialförkortningar av kemiska ingredienser och föreningar, som till exempel det gamla LSD, och de nya PCP och MDMA. Hon tillägger att det nuförtiden i princip bara är engelska som präglar vokabulären och att de romantiska och exotiska inslagen i slangen överlag är helt borta. Många ord inom drogslangen har starka positiva eller negativa konnotationer. Amfetamin kallas till exempel för A-vitamin, ett slangord som förutom att ha samma första bokstav, gemensamma ljud och rimmar på amfetamin även får en att tänka på något trevligt och positivt. I motsatt anda kan shit stå för cannabis. Överdrifter och underdrifter är också i flitigt bruk: att röka en joint kan heta att man tänder en bazooka medan att pudra näsan kan innebära att man snortar kokain. Hur föränderlig är då denna vokabulär? Drogslang är något som yngre missbrukare lär sig muntligt av äldre och beroende på vilken drog man använder lär man sig olika sorters slangord. Nya slangord tillkommer när nya droger lanseras på marknaden eftersom det då finns ett behov av nya uttryck. I motsats till detta kan vissa uttryck försvinna eller bli inaktuella om en drog produceras i annan form. Drogslang är ett kreativt språkligt område men grunden för slangen är ofta existerande ord från standardspråket som man sen ändrar på olika sätt. Det är sällan man hittar på något helt nytt och ordförrådet verkar inte förändras alltför mycket över en längre period. På frågan om drogslangens förhärligande karaktär bidrar till att unga dras till droger, svarar Maja Lindfors Viklund:


- Jag tror att dagens litet ”intetsägande” initialförkortningarna bidrar till en viss anonymitet som inte säger så mycket om till exempel rusupplevelsen, och bara det kan bidra till att lockelsen inte blir så påtagligt stor. Hon avslutar å andra sidan med att nämna att mängden narkotika som finns tillgänglig idag har ökat avsevärt jämfört med tidigare och att dess massproduktion gör att den är billig att köpa, i vissa fall billigare än alkohol. Och nog är det så att ungdomars dragning till droger inte är drogslangens fel, det verkar det finnas gott om andra anledningar till. Å

Text: Niklas Gadelii

“Pundartugg” 1997 sammanställde Stefan Holmén, som då arbetade på Polishögskolan, en ordlista med gatuslang för olika droger. Den döptes till “Pundartugg” och skulle hjälpa polisen att hänga med i snacket under förhör och liknande. Det här är några exempel: AIK:are - svartgul amfetaminkapsel Al-Mumtaz - cannabisharts Blitzed - att vara påverkad av narkotika Farinsocker - brunt rökheroin Gris-tjack - amfetamin Snusa - att dra in narkotika genom näsan Sonkad - baksmälla efter amfetaminintag Tjackrosor - de rodnader som uppstår efter injektion av narkotika Tweaker - person som letar efter crackbitar (kokain) som strötts ut efter polisrazzia van Goghare - förfalskat recept

Afghanistan -Home of Opium

Photo: UN Photo

These are important times for Afghanistan. Political elections are coming up, foreign troops are withdrawing and the drug trade has reached an all time high. What happens if the troops are leaving Afghanistan more corrupt than ever? 37

Photo: UK Ministry of Defence

Mahmood, a teacher at the Agrigculture College in Lashkar Gah, Helmand province, teaches how to grow legal crops as an alternative to opium.


fghanistan is the largest source of opium, from which heroin is refined, in the world. With some of the highest proportions of drug use in the world, 5 percent of Afghans are already consumers - a number still on the rise.

In 2013 the amount of opium used and cultivated reached an unprecedented level. Never has the drug trade been so central to the Afghan economy. Despite this, it may be an issue in which countries worldwide, including Iran and Russia, want to collaborate in solving. However, reducing the drug trade appears to be a highly complex task since it puts many stakeholders in conflict. The border between Iran and Afghanistan is sparsely populated and thus very hard to control. It is like an open tap for smuggling drugs. It is therefore not surprising that Iran has the largest percentage of opiate addicts in the world and that opium can be purchased cheaper than beer in the country. filled with crucial events for the Afghan population. Not only are foreign troops leaving the country, but also the upcoming presidential election


in April is causing concern as to what could be expected from the future of Afghanistan. This anxious atmosphere is repeatedly mentioned as one of the reasons why more poppies then ever are being farmed in the country. Jean-Luc Lemahieu is the outgoing head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Afghanistan and he has commented on the role of opium farming to the Guardian in November 2013. - At this moment there is more opium being produced in Afghanistan than is required for the outside market,� Lemahieu said. �It is domestic speculation coping with uncertain times and compensating for declining international money flows within the country. In the past there has been successful methods to eradicate the poppy farming. During their first period of rule the Taliban succeeded in reducing opium farming in Taliban regions with an incredible 99 percent after deciding that the crop was incompatible with Islam. However, this development halted when the Taliban lost power in 2002 and at their return in 2008 they choose the complete opposite direction. Currently, the Taliban receive a 10 percent tax from the opium farmers in

the regions where they are prevalent, which is mainly how they finance their warfare.

Top: Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s President since 2004. Bottom: Heroin rocks seized by the counter narcotics police of Afghanistan

But the poppy farming does not only exist in the Taliban controlled regions. In the parts of Afghanistan where the foreign troops are stationed, there are local warlords that have a monopoly on the drug trade. These also constitute an invaluable source in the process of rebuilding the country. This is why the foreign troops do not take the risk of opposing on the matter, although an expressed part of their mission is to eradicate the cultivation.

Photo: UK Ministry of Defence

In a famous speech from October 2001, Tony Blair argued that the United Kingdom should enter Afghanistan partly because the drugs coming from the war-torn country were having a direct effect on the British economy and public health. - We act also because the al-Qaeda network and the Taliban regime are funded in large parts on the drugs trade - 90% of all heroin sold in Britain originates from Afghanistan. Stopping that trade is again directly in our interests, said Blair. Since the troops entered Afghanistan billions upon billions of dollars have been spent on different drug eradication programs. One of many measures taken is offering a subsidy to farmers cultivating other crops, such as cotton and saffron. However, the profit margin is significantly smaller to the illegal yet profitable poppy farming and the competition from other countries growing cotton is tough. Afghanistan is expected to stand on its own two feet in a very near future. Politically, it is an important time, as the foreign troops are withdrawing and presidential as well as parliamentary elections are coming up. The right path

Afghanistan -2014 - Presidential elections are to be held the 5th of April.

for Afghanistan has to be taken, or else there is a risk that the country will be far worse off than it was at the time of the invasion in 2001. The rapidly growing opium trade is empowering the warlords and Taliban leaders in control of it and marginalizes the influence of the government. Ă…

- There is a deadline for the foreign troops stationed in Afghanistan to have left by the end of the year. This deadline is expected to be met.

Text: Linnea Sandell



acts: drugs.


Where the word drug comes from is debated. The most common explanation is that it derives from the French word drogues which in turn come from the German word drogefate. A drogefate was a type of container for dried goods, mostly dried herbs. The theory is thus that the word for the container was so connected with the content that the word was transferred to the herbs, or the drugs, instead.


TOP Producers of illicit drugs: 1. Afghanistan - Opium

”Sore throat? Have some Heorin”

- Cocaine

Perhaps the most drug liberal era in human history was the period between 1870 and 1914 called ”the great binge”. Many of today’s drugs were developed during this period and were widely distributed through apothecaries and drugstores. The substance Diacetylmorfin was, for example, launched in 1898 as a kind of cough syrup under the name of Heroin. The marketing especially targeted women and children.

3. Peru


5. Morocco

...Is a rank within the drug cartels. The Sicarios are responsible for carrying out: assassinations, kidnappings thefts, extortions etc. and protecting the turf

1912 40

2. Colombia


is the increase in the number of users of illegal drugs since 2010

- Cocaine

4. Burma - Opium

- Hashish

Source: Yahoo Voice

Was the year that the substance MDMA, commonly known as Ecstasy was invented. It was the German scientist Anton Köllisch as part of a blood stopping substance. It was not until the 1950’s that the American army started experimenting with the effects that MDMA had on humans.

Data: UNODC Map: The Economist

$ 80,728,364,658 World spending on illegal drugs this year, and counting.

Joaquín “Shorty” Guzmán, Leader of the world’s largest drug-trafficking organisation (Sinloa), was captured in Mexico on Febuary 22nd 2014.

MARIJUANA A new study published in the the American Public Journal of Health claims that legalizing medical marijuana can reduce suicide rates by five percent among the general population and by as much as 10 percent among young male population. Another study concluded that traffic fatalities decrease between 8 and 11 percent in states where marijuana is legal, the first year after legalization.” Source: PBS

By: Simon Fridolfsson, Ivar Johansson and Gustav Wirtén



international Photo : Wiros

Drug Policies

After a long period in which countries have been experimenting with more liberal drug policies, Uruguay has become the first country to legalize the use of marijuana in December last year. What implications could this have for the current framework on international drug cooperation?


hile the first traces of international drug cooperation date back as early as 1909, the current framework is built on three conventions that were held by the United Nations. In 1961, the first treaty was signed with the famous opening words ‘for the health and welfare of mankind’, and a set of strict measures were introduced that confined the use of drugs to medical and scientific purposes only. As the abuse of drugs continued to increase, another convention was held in 1971 to make the list of illicit drugs more comprehensive. The continuous growth of the underground


market finally led to the 1988 convention, that imposed strong penalties on drug offenses and fueled the so-called ‘war on drugs’. While the substance of these three drug control conventions is complex, the function is simple: they provide the legal structure for an international system of drug control. The implementation of the treaties is closely monitored by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). Within this framework, member states are afforded a certain degree of latitude in the formulation of national drug policies. Textual ambiguity together with flexible interpretations of the treaties have created a certain ‘wiggle room’, that countries use to maneuver their way around the treaties that they signed in the past. The Netherlands provides a good example of a country that used the ‘wiggle room’ to regulate the use of marijuana. In Amsterdam, a ‘coffeeshop’ that sells marijuana is found on literally every corner, while visitors

The treaties - The framework is built on the following three major treaties: - 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs - 1971 Convention on Phychotropic Substances - 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances - A United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs is scheduled in 2016.

can attend classes at the ‘Cannabis College’ or go to the ‘Marijuana museum’. Indeed, the Netherlands is regarded as one of the pioneers of the liberalization of drug policies. In the early seventies, an experimental and liberal approach on ‘soft’ drugs was implemented, allowing the possession of marijuana for personal use. This was justified on the grounds of ‘Dutch pragmatism’. As a BBC commentator explained: - The Dutch tend to think that it will happen anyway, whether they prohibit it or not. The logic is simple: tolerate it, rather than prohibit it and subsequently lose control.

As the policy did not lead to increased marijuana consumption per capita - it is currently below the European average and only half of the per capita use in the United States - the Dutch model is regarded as successful by many. However, more recently the Dutch government has decided to confine the model in response of international pressure. It has led to proposals of a ‘weed-pass’, banning foreigners from coffeeshops, or even completely shutting down all coffeeshops. Furthermore, a special ‘Taskforce’ was created that went as far as using a specially de-

Although Amsterdam’s urban space is filled with many coffeeshops, the Netherlands is no longer a major player in liberal drug policies.

Photo by Ricardo Liberato

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Dutch policy has led to increased friction with international actors and most notably the INCB, who claimed that the policy was violating the treaties because it promoted illicit drugs. The Dutch, however, have always confi-

dently claimed that their policies are permitted under the treaties, because the use and possession of marijuana is de jure (according to law) still illegal and a statutory offense in the Dutch legal system. However, de facto (according to practice) the use and possession of small amounts of marijuana is permitted and only rarely prosecuted.


signed remotely controlled helicopter, the ‘Cannachopter’. The Netherlands, once an active international player in the field of drug policies, is now fading away in the background of liberal drug policies.

Photo: felixtsao

The United States tells another story, where even the president - who has never been shy about his drugs use recently argued that ‘marijuana is no less dangerous than alcohol’. Is the United States approaching a more liberal attitude? The Californian city Oakland has been at the center of the American ‘pro-cannabis’ movement, therefore also named as ‘Oaksterdam’. In 1996 California invented its own variant of the Dutch coffeeshop: the ‘weed-pharmacy’, that allowed Americans to buy marijuana for all kinds of medical purposes. Migraines, cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, cachexia, multiple sclerosis, the list of disorders to obtain a weed-pass has become endless.

Weed pharmacies selling marijuana for medical purposes have become common in some American states.


- Barack Obama


As the 1961 treaty exclusively permitted the use of drugs for medical and scientific purposes, the Californian model clearly adopts this principle to justify their policies. The Californian model was quickly adopted by other American states and currently over 20 states have installed policies that either legalize medical cannabis, decriminalize the possession of cannabis, or both. In 2012, Colorado and Washington took the model a step further and have now legalized non-medical use as well. This has led to heavy criticism from the INCB. The Board questions the medical usefulness of marijuana, and furthermore claims that treaties require that where medical marijuana schemes are in operation, a government agency must award all licenses and take ‘physical possession’ of all crops. The latter seems a legitimate argument as this is not the case in the states that allow medical marijuana. Indeed, strong tensions have arisen

between the central government, that is held responsible for enforcing the treaties, and the individual states that implement more liberal drug policies. Especially now that two states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, something off-limits in the current treaty framework, these tensions are there to stay. However, it was the 78-year-old Uruguayan president José Mujica, dubbed as ‘the poorest president of the whole world’, who marked the most definitive break with international drug control treaties so far. Last December, the government gave a green light to legally regulate the domestic cannabis market for medical, industrial and recreational use. This is in clear violation of the treaties, which state that ‘governing authorities cannot create a legally regulated market for non-medical and non-scientific purposes’. Accordingly, the INCB was outraged by Uruguay’s ‘pirate attitude’ and responded that it was ‘surprised’ that Uruguay ‘knowingly decided to break the universally agreed and internationally endorsed legal provisions of the treaty’. It further accused Uruguay of not acting in the interest of the health and safety of its population.

Yet it remains unclear whether INCB’s statements will eventually lead to any significant sanctions for the Latin American country. With a global tendency towards a more liberal approach to drug policies, illustrated by the federal states in the United States, but also Spain and Portugal, and with the noticeable exception of the Netherlands, Uruguay will be able to count on much support. Instead of being penalized, it is more likely that Uruguay’s decision will have a domino effect, or, as Mujica puts it, “someone has to be first”. Rather than following the examples of Amsterdam and Oakland, that use the ‘wiggle room’ to maneuver around the treaties, it would make more sense to start reforming the outdated treaty framework altogether. Questions can be raised whether the zero-tolerance and punitive principles behind it are indeed the best approach for the ‘benefit of the health and welfare of mankind’. The UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs that is scheduled in 2016 could be an important step towards a more realistic approach to international drug control policies. Å

Text: Kees Krul

A Global Tendency? - Since 1996, many American states are allowing the use of mariujana for medical purposes. - Portugal decrimilized all forms of drugs in 2001. - Since 2005 several European countries have allowed ’Cannabis Social Clubs’ where users are free to grow marijuana. - Uruguay legalized marijuana in 2013.

Uruguyian president José Mujica decided to legalize Marijuana in December last year.



Sweden SYRIA to

46 Photo: Thomas Rasloff

More than 70 Swedes have joined the civil war in Syria. Who are they? How are they recruited? Get to know the Swedish fighters in the Syrian conflict. Text: Oscar Waldner and Viktor Joh




he 19­-year­old Hamza sits in front of his computer and scrolls through his Facebook timeline. Recently, he has become more and more interested in his religion, more so than his parents. A friend shares a post called “Funniest Muslim vs. Christian Debate Ever!” from the page “Muslims of the Suburbs”. Upon further inspection the page seems to be dealing with the Muslim faith in a fun and sound way. But as time passes on, the content on the page is more and more focused on the suffering of the muslims in Syria.

the number of >>Swedish fighters

in Syria Could instead be closer to 200


This semi­-fictional narrative serves a clear, step-­by­-step example of how someone can be empathically manipulated to support, or even join, an armed jihadi group. This has been the case for the last three years, with western foreign fighters joining the war to fight alongside a large variety of groups. The groups are either small organizations or larger branches of al­- Qaida, The al-­ Nusra Front or the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS). The Swedish Security Service (SÄPO), in a press statement last spring, said that an estimated 40 people have traveled from Sweden to Syria in order to fight the government of Bashar al­Assad. Six months later, that number had increased to about 70. This points more and more toward the fact that the Syrian conflict has escalated dramatically in many ways. It has turned into a magnet for independent Westerners seeking to fight the government on grounds they personally see as just.

This first displeases Hamza. He is very well aware that these horrible things are happening. Honestly, he would rather not think about it at all. With time, more and more pictures of raped women, dead children and starving families shows up on his Facebook timeline. Hamza is anything but unaffected. The messages start to contain more direct advocations in relation to defensive jihad. “What is your excuse?” is a common caption to pictures of armed elderly men. Hamza is now starting to experience a lot of guilt.

But even within the Swedish establishment different thoughts exists when it comes to estimating the number of Swedish combatants in Syria. According to Johan Wiktorin, a senior Swedish military officer, the number of Swedish fighters in Syria is instead closer to 200. According to Wiktorin, the unknown number of Swedes in Syria could be estimated from the casualty percentage. Since there has been around 5 percent of battle­related deaths on all sides of the conflict, yet out of these 70 Swedes presented by SÄPO, 17 are reported dead. Wiktorin therefore states the overall numbers is massively underestimated.

While in his local Mosque, he imagines what his reaction would be if the people next to him were to be killed by this seemingly ruthless dictator. How are the ones praying next to him any different than the ones praying in the rubbles of Syria?

Amongst the identified groups, there’s a significantly smaller fraction that has adopted the name of Swedish Mujahedeen Fi ash­-Sham. Formed during the autumn of 2012, this group is particularly known for their recruitment video that went viral on YouTube and various

Photos: FreedomHouse

r Osca nd ra e n Wald hansson o rJ per Vikto major pa nd a u L e t t o a wr ue is iss on th niversity U


the Swedes worked >> together with the

infamous al-足Nusra Front on numerous occasions 50

social­-media networks. The video was shot on the battlegrounds of Syria and in the Swedish language the group called for the vital need for Swedish Muslims to take action and help their fellow brothers and sisters in Syria. At that time, the group also administered a Facebook account where they openly endorsed the ideological thoughts of the American­-born supposed al­- Qaida­ -commander Anwar al-­Awlaki. The content that was presented on the page consisted, in particular, of updates relating to their various activities in the on­going conflict. Furthermore, it has been both reported and proved that the Swedes worked together with the infamous al-­Nusra Front on numerous occasions. The al-­Nusra Front, a branch of al-­Qaida in Iraq, has leaders that reportedly took part in the fighting against American forces in Iraq during the occupation. It is also believed to be the strongest and most effective opposition group in the conflict. Perhaps the most noteworthy operation, involving both members of Mujahedeen Fi ash-­Sham and al-­Nusra, was the overtaking of the Syrian army base Sheik Suleiman. Here members of Mujahedeen Fi ash­Sham, in the immediate aftermath of the victory, uploaded several pictures of captured fighters belonging to the government alongside writings of celebratory statements about the victory. Strong comments were also made about the many differences of opinion they had with the majority of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). FSA has “officially” been proclaimed as the only legitimate opposition group. After an eventual deposition of the Syrian president Bashar al-­Assad, FSA’s official goal is said to lead Syria onto a path that will bring the country further towards becoming a democratic state. Something the members of Mujahedeen Fi ash­-Sham disagree with.

they came into >>contact with

other English speaking fighters organized in the group “Kata’eb al­Muhajireen”

The other significant group containing Swedish fighters is one currently based in the north central town of Raqqa. It seems these Swedes traveled to Turkey where they came into contact with other English speaking fighters organized in the group “Kata’eb al­-Muhajireen”, translating to “The Migrants’ Brigades’”. They were later conjoined in Syria with several other foreign contingents, forming the “Yaish al­-Muhajireen wal­-Ansar” or “Army of Emigrants and Supporters”. At this time, the Swedes were put under the rule of a man from Chechnya named Omar al­- Shishani. With his trademark bright red beard and strong radical Islamic dedication he seems to have gathered quite a lot of popularity from the Swedish fighters, judging from several admiring Facebook posts. According to BBC News, al-­Shishani was discharged from Yaish al­Muhajireen wal­-Ansar after he pledged allegiance to the group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). This is since Yaish al­-Muhajireen wal­-Ansar had been having troublesome relations with ISIS for some time. Yet instead of staying with Yaish al­-Muhajireen wal­-Ansar, apparently most Swedes seems to have followed al­-Shishani to his new task as the ISIS commander of the northern region of Syria. As of late

Swedes in the Syrian conflict - Swedish Security Service (SÄPO) estimates that 70 Swedish citizens have joined the conflict in Syria - 17 Swedes have been killed - The 21st of November 2012 the group Mujahedeen Fi ash-Sham released a video where they, in Swedish, urged other Swedish muslims to join them fighting in Syria.


February, one Swede fighting in Syria updated his Facebook page with a picture of one hundred captured Kurdish fighters in Raqqa. Other Swedes have repeatedly argued in favor of ISIS and posted pictures of them posing with al­- Shishani. The Syrian Civil War is an incredibly complicated conflict. It did not get less complicated when a representative of al-­Qaida, Abu Khaled al­- Suri was killed in a suicide attack in Aleppo on the 23rd of February. An attack the ISIS claimed responsibility for. Now, the ISIS and its Swedes seem to have nothing but enemies. The tensions between these warring factions can also be identified on a few Facebook pages, where encouraging statements can be seen advocating defections within the al-­Nusra Front. This is indeed a period of great uncertainty and insecurity in the region.

the Swedes were >>put under the rule of a man from Chechnya named Omar al­Shishani

According to a report published by the Swedish Security Service in 2010, the most dire potential domestic terrorism threat to Sweden comes from when some choose to join extremist groups in conflict zones, like Syria. In a radio interview with the head analyst of the counter terrorism unit, he explains how these people may increase the risk of terrorism in Sweden.


- When you leave for a conflict z­ one in this purpose you acquire an ability to perform violent acts, and you can also become inspired by the al-­Qaida ideologies in these networks… Unfortunately, targets in Sweden has been acknowledged as legitimate by al-­Qaida-­ideologists. But, based on our research we can determine that regarding the Swedish foreign fighters, far from everyone are motivated in terms of establishing a form of radical global Islamism. We also mean to clarify that; for someone to even make the choice of departing to Syria several important factors have to come into play. These are factors such as social and psychological statesor different ways of perceiving the world, along with several others. They, in turn, must be able to merge together within a context of radicalization. By that, the job to foresee the potential risks as well as aggressors, becomes suddenly much more complicated, taking the topics this article has risen into consideration. One could say that this topic is one of the many strong anachronisms of our time. The use of modern technology like social media within groups characterized by its unrelenting and violent conservatism. But in the end, Facebook is merely a communication tool offering a possibility to share information and maintain networks. The downsides of social media are indeed both real and effective. Å





-An interview with a former member of the French Foreign Legion

Everybody is >>offered a new

identity, and for those with a more ’colourful’ background, it’s compulsory Text: Martin Andersson

Stopping to enjoy the view in the Central African Republic.


The French Foreign Legion is a part of the French Army but what sets it apart from your standard military outfit is the fact that any nationality can sign up.


he concept of allowing any nationality in the world join the Legion, along with recruits being given a new identity has led to it often being perceived as a mercenary outfit, or a place for people who want to dissapear. I got in touch with a Swedish man who joined the Legion at 22 years of age in 2004 and asked him to describe his own experiences for me. He agreed to do an interview on the condition that he was to remain anonymous. He is referred to as John in the interiew. What made you want to join the Legion, was it adventure, living a soldiers life, or something else?

- For me, the possibility of becoming a professional soldier played a big part. I also wanted to experience Africa, even if joining the Legion meant I wouldn’t be seeing the nicer sides of the continent. Johns affiliation with the Legion began when he showed up as a young man at their recruitment office in the outskirts of Paris. He underwent a brief interview and was asked why he wanted to join the Legion. After the interview he received a new identity and was told to wait at the recruitment office. A week later, he and nineteen other candidates were taken by train to the Legion headquarters in Aubagne, just outside Marseilles. - We were a mixed bunch to say the least: a French former non-commissioned officer, a couple of Romanian smalltime thugs, a Chinese dishwasher who had been working cash-in-hand in Paris for years, a Polish neo-Nazi with


SS tattoos on his arms, a well-traveled Colombian who was not keen on talking about his previous employment. At Aubagne, the group underwent a form of elimination process that consisted of medical examinations, physical and mental tests, along with more interviews. - We were interrogated by the Legions very own security service which was commonly referred to as the “Gestapo” and many did not return after those meetings; they had probably been handed over to the police… In the end, it was only John and the French former NCO that were chosen for service in the Legion from the original group of twenty, a rate considered normal. What now followed was weeks of excruciating training in the south of France. Isolated in a place called “the farm”, the platoon underwent basic training in weapons, combat, fitness, the French language and was also taught the songs of the Legion.

The French Foreign Legion - Founded in 1831 - Only men between 17-40 can join the Legion. Nationality or country of origin is not supposed to matter. -Legion regiments can today be found in mainland France, Corsica, French Guyana, the United Arab Emirates and on the island of Mayotte.

they had >>probably been

handed over to the police John describes his time at “the farm” as one without any personal freedom. All waking hours were spent training, there was not much to eat and sleep was restricted to four or five hours a night. All contact with the outside world was forbidden. For John, the hardest part was not knowing the language fully, as it made life at “the farm” lonely.

Foto: Privat

- Not during my time in the Legion, but I have been in a warzone when I was in the Danish Army. When I was a legionaire, I was stationed in Djibouti and the Central African Republic, but the situation was stable there at the time.

Left: Picture from the Djibouti Highlands, down in the valley Somalia starts.

You mentioned receiving a new identity. Please tell me more about this. - Everybody is offered a new identity, and for those with a more “colourful” background, it’s compulsory.

You don’t have to speak French upon joining, but one of the goals in basic training is for you to learn French. They put you in groups of three with one French speaker and two nonFrench speakers. The French speaker is responsible for teaching the other two French and if someone makes a mistake because they did not understand an order, the French speaker is punished along with the person who made the mistake. It is a tough but seemingly effective system, as most people are able to understand orders and converse in French after finishing basic training. John spent two years in Djibouti on the horn of Africa after leaving “the farm”. He was under no circumstances allowed to leave Djibouti during this time, not even for a death in the family. Only after two and a half years did he return to Sweden, and that was on a provisional passport and without permission from the Legion. Were you stationed in a warzone during your time in the Legion? Did you see combat?

He goes on to tell me that back then everybody received a new identity, but that you get your real one back after a few years of service. Your real identity is also needed if you want to be granted French citizenship after serving in the Legion. You have a false identity only whilst you’re a Legionnaire, you are not allowed to keep it afterwards. Whether you want to get away from people who are after you, be it police or people involved in criminal activity, the Legion offers an escape route. The new identity is doubtlessly appealing to many recruits for this reason. There is a certain image of the Legion which is that it’s a place criminals go to in order to escape charges. How do you think this image reflect reality? - People try and join the Legion in order to get away from the law, sure. Sometimes they are successful, but not always. If you are wanted by Interpol you will be extradited and handed over to the police and the same thing goes if you’re wanted for serious crimes such as murder, armed robbery or rape. But it’s not uncommon that petty criminals with a rough background join the Legion. To many it’s a chance to start over.

A Political Legion Elements of the Legion participated in a failed coup d’état against French President Charles de Gaulle in 1961. The purpose of the coup was to install an anti-Communist military junta and it was instigated as a response to de Gaulle agreeing on Algerian terms for independence. The Legion was also heavily criticised for committing brutal acts towards the Algerian combatants and civilians during the Algerian War.


African Engagement The map shows The French Foreign legion’s engagement in African wars (WWI -WWII excluded) has engaged in. They have been stationed in several more countries though. The legion has been engaged in conflicts on other contintents for example: Norway, Mexico and Russia.


At a checkpoint in the Central African Republic

As mentioned at the start, the French Foreign Legion attract people from all over the world, something evident in a train containing French ex officers, Romanian smalltime criminals, Chinese dishwashers, Polish neo-Nazis and Colombians with a history. John tells me that in 2004, most recruits were Eastern European, but that over the years, more people from Africa, China and South America have joined up. In one of the answers I received, John mentioned that he left the Legion after four years, and thereby did not fulfill the mandatory five years of service. I asked him why that was and he told me that he was unhappy about certain aspects within the leadership. His view is that those in charge often favour threats and punishments over motivating people to do well. He also mentions not being allowed to use the internet or a

cellphone without special permission as a source of annoyance. More than half of those on a five year contract leave before it’s fulfilled.

Foto: Privat

Despite not agreeing with all the Legions policies, John looks back on his service in a positive manner and considers his time as a legionaire a unique experience. - People always ask if I regret joining, but no, I don’t. I learnt a lot during my time in the Legion; I tested myself and made strides physically as well as mentally. In a group of such diversity, I made friends for life and even though I did not fulfill my contract, the French Foreign Legion is to me an adventure that I’m proud to have been part of. Å



Barricade in Kiev... ... at Hrushevskoho street. The riot police Berkut and protestors clashed here in January 2014 as part of the internal turmoil in Ukraine. 8-9 people were killed. Photo: Maksymenko Oleksandr



The Division of a City

62 Photo: US Army

After the fall of Saddam Husseins regime in Iraq fell into a civil warlike situation. Baghdad, mixed between Sunnis and Shi’ites, became the main battleground.


n March 19, 2003, the second biggest Arab city in the world and home to over seven million people would face, like the rest of the country, a storm of change. Under President George W. Bush’s orders, coalition forces had begun, “striking targets to undermine Saddam Hussein’s ability to wage war.” From the conclusion of the Iran-Iraq War in 1988, Saddam’s regime had never quite recovered. In 1991, religious, social, and ethnic tension bubbled up threatening the stability of the country. Saddam’s government, which favoured Sunni Muslims who made up a third of the country, did nothing to help ease this tension but rather fomented it by empowering a small minority, leading to an almost inevitable clash.

But the roots of religious conflict in Iraq can be stretched much further back. After World War One, Great Britain and France divided the Middle East, turning what is now Iraq into the British Mandate of Mesopotamia, which would later become the Kingdom of Iraq and ruled by the Hashemite family, which also rule over the Kingdom of Jordan. Despite Iraq being approximately 65% Shiite Muslim, the Hashemite family was Sunni Muslim and gave preferential treatment to those of their community. Empowering minorities was a common theme in British colonialism, since it granted the British loyalty and divided the country enough that it would not unify and remove them as leaders. Loyalty became a key tool for Iraq’s leaders, as loyalty to Saddam often replaced loyalty to religious groups. Despite the importance of the community, loyalty to the regime became the easiest method to advance.

Photo: US Army

Once American and Coalition forces invaded Iraq and deposed Saddam, the country was left in a power vacuum. Despite attempts to impose law and order, through aptly-named missions like Operation Imposing Law, maintaining peace was no easy task. In parts of Baghdad like Sadr City, which had been left to its own devices under

Prime Minister Nour al-Maliki sent goverment troops to Sadr City in 2006 to take back control of the nieghbourhood.

>>theHistorically, city’s

neighbourhoods were mixed Saddam, attempts at imposing new laws were not met well. This quickly became one of the focal points of conflicts, attacks, and clashes, with the Shiite Mahdi Army turning into one of the fiercest opponents to the occupation.


Photo: US Army

Despite being Shi’ite himself, Prime Minster Nour al-Maliki have had to fight the more militant Shi’a groups in Iraq.

Historically, the city’s neighbourhoods were mixed, with Sunnis and Shiites living side by side. Since the invasion and the rise of car bombs, escalation of tension between communities has become a significant problem. Reminiscent of Belfast of Jerusalem, the solution to this has been to build

In February >>2014 alone, 703

people were killed in violence “peace walls”. However, according to U.S. military spokesman Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, dividing the city into enclaves was not part of the security plan, and only a temporary goal in order to prevent suicide bombers and


death squads from crossing sectarian lines. Despite this, many Iraqis fear the wall more than suicide bombers, like Abu Ahmed, a Sunni drugstore owner from Adhamiya, Baghdad, who worries that, “this will deepen the sectarian strife and only serve to abort efforts aimed at reconciliation.” The problem with building peace walls is often that they are easy to put up, but much more difficult to take down. The most extreme example of this is the Berlin Wall which separated a city into two countries, but less well known examples, such as Belfast have more walls separating communities now than during the peak of the Troubles. Building walls for security may lower bombings and increase safety, but psychologically locks citizens into particular areas of the city which they end up recognizing as safe or unsafe. Living in one walled area eventually leads to fear of being outside of that wall resulting in dozens of micro-cities within one big city. According to the Guardian, segregation has grown worse in Belfast since the building of the walls, with 68% of youths having never had a conversation with someone from the “other side”. The issue for Baghdad and Iraq in general is not only the increased segregation, but the conflicts that it entails. In February 2014 alone, 703 people were killed in violence. These numbers are up from the previous year and follow a 10-month spike since the closing of a Sunni protest camp. Even worse, they follow a general trend of increased violence in Iraq, particularly considering the Syrian conflict raging on the other side of its border. The Syrian conflict is thought to have spread to Iraq as well, with the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi having been taken by militant Sunni forces with links to Al-Qaeda. Most threatening of all is not only the proximity of these cities to Baghdad, but their aim in creating a Sunni kingdom in the region, and particularly with

So what can we see for the future of Iraq? Within Baghdad itself, some of the separation walls have begun to be taken down, which has been greeted with pleasure from many local citizens. On the other hand, the recent surge in violence is worrying due to the upcoming elections. Prime Minister Maliki must find a way to ease the tension between communities while keeping the image of being a strongman. In particular, recapturing the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, or at least their loyalty, would accomplish this. ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which currently holds the cities and which has a growing power in Syria, must be dealt with in order to consolidate power and to hold on to his legitimacy. A change in government in Iraq would not necessarily quell this opposition but could rather act as a catalyst for further rebellion. As we have seen, tensions continue to rise with no sure sign of stopping. Å

A UN report from 2008 estimated that there are 870 000 orphans in Iraq

Photo: US Army

Iraqi elections looming at the end of the month of April. This is even more complicated by the role of Iran, which supports militant Shiite groups, further escalating the violence.

Three-year-old Shams was badly injured when a car bomb exploded near her fathers car in Sadr City, Baghdad, in November 2006.

Text: Tom Kräuchi

Iraq’s ethnic mix - 53 percent of the Iraqi population are Shi’ites. 44 percent are Sunnis. - 17 percent of Iraqis are Kurdish. - 8 percent have other ethnic belonings, such as Assyrian, Turkmen or Persian.

Photo: James Gordon

- 97 percent of Iraqis are muslims. 3 percent confess to Christianity or Mandaeism



DEt förflutna Det förflutna Produktionsår: 2013 Regissör: Asghar Farhadi Medverkande: Bérénice Bejo, Tahar Rahim, Ali Mosaffa Språk: franska och persiska

Photo: Folkets bio

Betyg: 4/5

Efter kritikerrosade och flerfaldigt prisbelönta ”Nader och Simin - en separation”, är den iranske regissören Asghar Farhadi tillbaka med ännu ett separationsdrama, där sorg och besvikelse över ett kärlekens svek skaver i varje scen.


et förflutna (Le Passé) berättar om den invecklade relationen mellan Marie (Bérénice Béjos) och Samir (Ali Mosaffa). Paret lever tillsammans i Paris under komplicerade förhållanden. Berättelsen tar avstamp i återträffen mellan Marie och hennes tidigare man Ahmed. Fyra år tidigare lämnade Ahmed plötsligt Paris och Marie för sitt hemland Iran och ett annat liv. Ahmed är, på Maries begäran, tillbaka för första gången sedan de hastigt skiljdes åt fyra år tidigare. Stegen är trevande.

Ömsom möts de i en djup samhörighet, manifesterad som hastigast genom en blick eller genom närheten Ahmed har till Maries dotter Lucie ömsom är de främlingar för varandra, famlandes i det förflutnas ovisshet. Marie vill nu att separationen blir formell och ber Ahmed skriva under skilsmässoansökan. Först på väg in i rättssalen berättar Marie att hon är gravid och ska gifta sig med barnets pappa, Samir. Ahmed som insisterat på att bo på hotell men som istället delat sovrum med Samirs (förövrigt ljuvliga) son i Maries hem blir ställd. Det förflutna gör sig påmint och det förflutna gör ont, även om Ahmed vid en första anblick ter sig fullständigt likgiltig inför beskedet. Marie ber Ahmed trots distansen reda ut varför Lucie börjat rymma hemifrån och en historia nystas upp som bitvis förklarar de plågade blickar och den molande ovisshet som hägrar likt ett tungt moln ovanför Maries aldrig färdigrenoverade parisiska hus. Samir är redan gift med en kvinna som sedan åtta månader ligger i koma, efter ett självmordsförsök som Lucie känner skuld för. En skuld som kan förklaras av Lucies gnagande känsla av olust inför Marie och Samirs äktenskap. En kan inte gifta sig med någon om en redan har en fru. Med en dramaturgisk skicklighet skapar Farhadi en suggestiv berättelse där lojaliteterna är osäkra och outtalade historier plågar och begränsar karaktärerna.. Vem fyller ett tomrum för vem, och vem står ensam i slutet? Krasst så handlar det om kärlekshistorier med sorgliga slut, hastiga avslut och avsked som aldrig bearbetas. Både barn och vuxna plågas i en tystnad som till synes kanske beror på ett tabu, kanske på att ingen rent faktiskt vet hur det kommer att gå

Med en dramaturgisk >>skicklighet skapar Farhadi en suggestiv berättelse


Photo: Folkets bio

Regissören Asghar Farhadi, som inte talar franska, regisserade hela filmen med tolk.

i slutändan. I jakten på svaret på frågan om vem som bör bära skulden och om någon ens bör bära skulden placeras familjen i ett undantagstillstånd. Sonen som förlorat sin mamma och dottern som bär känslan av skuld för någonting som egentligen är helt utom hennes kontroll. Stark skepsis kan riktas mot Farhadis gubbigt konservativa onyanserade skildring av Maries och Lucies relation och känsloliv likt en dikotomi mellan antingen ett tyst lidande eller hysteriska nervsammanbrott. Karaktärerna gestaltas

dock på ett intressantare och subtilare sätt på vissa glänsande ögonblick i filmen. Verkligheten är ansträngd men hanterbar innan Ahmed kommer tillbaka och ställer frågorna som ingen tidigare vågat ställa och därmed får svar som ingen kanske egentligen ville höra. Sårskorpor som aldrig läkt skrapas upp. Drömmar vaknar till liv och uppmanar till handling. Vem fyller egentligen vems tomrum?

Text: Joanna Herskovits



Bilingual Swedish and English magazine on world issues and foreign affairs.

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