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Xenophobic asylum doctor at Trandum

"Build a border fence against Sweden – don't wait until the invasion is underway!" The doctor who is considering whether people at Trandum are healthy enough to leave the country is also an active debater on immigration-hostile websites.

(PS. This article is machine-translated from Norwegian)

gunnar-Fæhn-with-their-honors-photo-olav
Gunnar Fæhn

Ny Tid can reveal that one of the doctors who since 2004 has been responsible for the health service at the Police Immigration Boarding School in Trandum, on several occasions has expressed himself very critical of immigration and asylum seekers on xenophobic websites such as Document.no, Human Rights Service (HRS) and the Swedish website Avpixlat. "Do not think the many Norwegians who fought and suffered during the war did so so that Muhammad and Ahmed could go safely to NAV to collect their various benefits," the doctor wrote in a discussion on the website Document.no two years ago.

screenshot-385In an article on the increased support of the Islamist organization Pegida, the doctor writes: "The disadvantage is that it is the winner who writes the history books. If we continue as now, we risk that the history books can later tell of the heroic protesters who fought the good fight for increased immigration. The hourglass is about to run out. ”

On the same website, under an article about Denmark stopping train traffic from Germany, he comments on "Build a border fence with Sweden – do not wait until the invasion is underway!"
He has also been active in Swedish Avpixlat: "Get up quickly, Jimmy (Åkesson, former leader of the Swedish Democrats, ed.) – Sweden and the Nordic countries need you," he writes in an article that the former SD leader had become sick leave.
screenshot-377The doctor's name Gunnar Fæhn, comments under the profile name "Gnrf" and for the past 12 years has been the main responsible for the health service at Trandum, which is hired by his company Legetjänster A / S. In addition, he is an expert in assessing whether the prisoners at Trandum are in good health enough to be deported from Norway (so-called fit for aircraftdeclarations). This double role – the combination of therapist, expert and privately hired – was highlighted by the Civil Ombudsman as unfortunate after their visit to the boarding school in May 2015.

Problematic. Leader of the Medical Association's Council of Ethics Svein Aarseth believes it is problematic that the doctor who is responsible for the inmates at Trandum expresses xenophobic attitudes online.

"Given that this is the same person, I would say that it is problematic that he expresses himself in this way at the same time as he has a demanding position at the immigration boarding school, where he fills a dual role as a therapist and expert – and is responsible for assessing whether people are healthy enough to leave the country or not, "says Aarseth when Ny Tid shows him the relevant comments.

He expects the Police Immigration Unit to follow up with the doctor's comments:
"The management at Trandum should consider the extent to which these attitudes can be said to affect his professional practice as a physician," says Aarseth, adding that the Council of Ethics has so far received no complaint against Legetbeheer A / S.

"It is problematic that he expresses himself in this way while having a demanding position on the immigration board."

'Grave. " Head of Antiracist Center Rune Berglund Steen responds that a doctor has such hostile attitudes toward the people he is set to treat.

«Especially Avpixlat must be considered a right-wing extremist website. It is not the case that you 'accidentally' get in here and write anti-immigrant comments, "says Steen, who believes the case should be investigated further. "My first reaction when I heard about this doctor's attitudes is that this may explain the things I have heard about problems and failures in the health service at Trandum over many years. The doctor at Trandum is the only real health service for people in a very vulnerable and vulnerable situation. In principle, a doctor should of course be able to express himself as he wishes. The problem arises if the negative attitudes affect the job he does. In that case, people who needed and demanded health care, instead suffered because of the doctor's attitudes. If it's happened here, it's serious. We expect the case to be investigated further, including the doctor's suitability for the responsibility he is entrusted with, "Steen told Ny Tid.

"Could have saved them from suffering." Doctor Gunnar Fæhn himself tells Ny Tid that the attitudes he expresses online do not conflict with his role as a doctor and medical assessments that are made.

"My comments express personal attitudes that have no negative impact on the job I do as a doctor at Trandum. You can have your own opinions without this having to have anything to do with the medical assessment of patients, "says Fæhn to Ny Tid.

Do you stand for everything you write?

"I don't have an overview of everything I've commented on standing, but in my opinion it is better to regulate the number of people entering the country by weeding out those who have no real need for protection. As a doctor at Trandum I have seen many unhappy people who have to leave because they are not entitled to stay. Had we had better control of this before coming as far as inland, we would have saved them too much suffering. I appreciate those who come to Norway to contribute, and even have two Iraqi colleagues. We have excellent cooperation, and I am in no way for any total closure of the Norwegian borders, ”says Fæhn.

Unculture at Trandum. An employee at Trandum that Ny Tid has spoken to tells of a general culture among the employees at the boarding school. "I have experienced situations where things have been said in a way that is not acceptable. There are many good and professional people who work at Trandum, but there are also some, especially among those who have worked there for a long time, who perhaps should not have had this job at all. The problem is that management does not take this seriously. Then it becomes difficult to say if you experience reprehensible conditions among colleagues. It is difficult to hear, and I am afraid that something serious must happen for the management to take it seriously. "

He has been employed at the boarding school for many years, and has on several occasions tried to address problems directly with the management at Trandum. At the risk of the consequences of standing up, the person chooses to remain anonymous.

A few of those who work at Trandum have a police education. There is no requirement for formal education beyond high school, but people who are to be hired undergo training before being assigned the so-called "limited police department". The employee says that there are low competence requirements for staff at the boarding school, and thinks it would be useful with more staff in police positions and with a police background.

“The requirements for who you hire should be stricter. Those who work there have limited police authority, but no police background. In my opinion, there are some 'cowboys' who think this is a bit too much fun, and that a little too fast for bullies to use, such as an isolation cell. "

Do you therefore know of cases of unnecessary use of force against prisoners?

"We have the opportunity to use means of power, but that does not mean that it should always be done. Many times there is enough dialogue and communication to solve a situation, but this is a link many people skip. This is a difficult job, but it is not okay to act unethically because you are angry. It is important not to forget that the inmates are people who are in an incredibly difficult situation, we should respect that, ”says the source.

Criticism from the Civil Ombudsman. The Civil Ombudsman believes it is strange that the health service at Trandum is hired by – and thus employed by – the Police rather than being regulated by the Ministry of Health. In the Trandum report from 2015, the Civil Ombudsman asks questions at Legetjänster A / S and their independence:

“This is an unusual and principled scheme, and we are questioning the ability of health care professionals to fulfill their role independently of the Police. The scheme can undermine patients' trust in the health service and weaken the health service's assessments. We therefore recommend that the Police Immigration Unit establish a scheme to ensure that health services are provided by health professionals with professional independence, ”the report states. It was also noted as questionable that, in addition to having health responsibilities, the medical service at Trandum assumes a role as an expert by issuing declarations of transport ability to those to be dispatched (fit to flydeclarations). The Civil Ombudsman was also critical of the lack of procedures for documenting physical injuries and of the procedures for obtaining health care:

"Those interned at Trandum need to fill out a 'doctor's note' in order to obtain medical time. These are not available in the common area or in the residents' rooms, something the Civil Ombudsman responds to. " The report also states that many of the detainees claim to have sent up to ten requests before contacting the health department at the reception.

The health services at the boarding school have also been criticized by the Antiracist Center, as well as by the Medical Association and the Psychological Association, which visited the boarding school in 2014.

Head of department at Trandum Kristine Vee Lægreid informs that PU is in dialogue with the Norwegian Police Directorate to assess whether the health services can be transferred to the municipal health service.

Also read the case study: Many health services at Trandum

18.11.2016: See also its response from the Immigration Service's Kristina Vee Lærgreid.

Carima Tirillsdottir Heinesen
Former journalist for MODERN TIMES.

3 comments

  1. Response from Kristin Vee Lærgreid from the Norwegian Board of Immigration:

    We have a great understanding that the foreigners who sit on the immigration board in anticipation of returning to their home country are in a stressful situation, and that is why it is so important that our employees manage the responsibility that lies with the job in the very best way.

    My experience during the time I have been head of the Police Immigration Boarding School is that prisoners are treated with a great deal of respect and professionalism, which is also confirmed both in the Civil Ombudsman's report, in the regular visits we have by the Supervisory Board and specific statements from prisoners. The Civil Ombudsman states in his latest report: “The employees at the boarding school mainly received good feedback from the internees. Many stated that the employees treated them respectfully and gave them the necessary assistance for daily chores ". I experience that we have an employee group that every day goes to great lengths to give those we have in our custody as dignified a stay as possible within the framework that is. If anyone should think otherwise, I am of course available to both listen to it and take it seriously whenever it may be. It will of course not count negatively for those who inform about matters worthy of criticism. PU also has other ways to notify anonymously. My most important job as a manager is to take care of the employees and inmates.

    We do not recognize the criticism of the use of force. We also wonder at the criticism that one should have a police background to work on the boarding school. Employees at Trandum have a broad background in both education and experience. Many employees have experience from the defense, the criminal justice service, the school government, the child welfare service and the health service to name a few. In addition, we emphasize language skills, and not least the ability to take care of people in a challenging situation in recruitment processes. We have a strong focus on recruiting people with the motivation and personal qualities required to fulfill the important task of working on the immigration board. New employees receive a tailor-made education from the Prison and Probation Service's education center, which extends over 8 weeks, where security and crisis management are part of the training. In addition, we have a strong focus on exercises and training as regular activities throughout the year.

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