On September 12, 2006, Mahmoud Reza Beirani will perform at Norrbro in Stockholm.

In his hand he holds an ax and around his neck hangs a snare.

He threatens to take his life.

The police block off the area and call in negotiators.

Passers-by perceive the situation as threatening, but no one is harmed.

Beirani later says that he does it to be seen.

- All day I shouted that “Here I am.

I exist.

I exist.

You can not go on for so many years and say no you do not exist.

I exist.

Here I am."

Late in the evening he gives up and is driven to Säter's forensic psychiatric clinic.

But the story begins much earlier - in March 1987, when Beirani arrives in Sweden from Iran.

Convicted of drug trafficking

He arrives without a passport or ID documents and tells them that he is seeking asylum.

In the same year, he was granted a permanent residence permit, learned Swedish at SFI and trained as a lathe operator.

But Beirani is starting to abuse drugs.

In 1993, he was charged with ten others in a drug scandal where he admitted that he used and sold smoking heroin.

He is sentenced to seven and a half years in prison - and deportation for life.

In October 1998, he was released on parole and flown with two officials from the Swedish Prison and Probation Service's transport service to Iran.

He says he is looking forward to coming home.

- I had an open smile when we went to Iran.

I was joking with two government officials all the way down to Iran.

I wanted to go home and I wanted to live the rest of my life down there, says Beirani.

Police: Destroyed the entire case

But it will not be so.

Beirani, who still has no ID documents, is told to get off the plane alone.

He ends up being escorted back by Iranian border guards.

- They simply grabbed my neck and pulled me to the plane, threw me in and said "send away", says Beirani.

Assignment review meets the former head of the Aliens Rotel in Norrköping, Tore Persson, who is strongly critical of how the deportation was handled.

- I believe that it is actually the decision they made on board the plane, to stay there and not follow in and negotiate, that has ruined the whole matter, says Tore Persson.

The two officials who escorted Beirani have declined to be interviewed by Assignment Review.

A photographer captures Mahmoud Reza Beirani in a picture when he is standing in Norrbro in Stockholm.

Photo: Urban Andersson / Aftonbladet / TT

For several years, Tore Persson has been working to get Beirani expelled.

He is trying to get the Iranian embassy to confirm his identity and arrange the necessary travel documents, but the embassy is constantly demanding new information to do so.

Meanwhile, Beirani is locked up in custody.

After eight months, he is released, but may only stay in the municipalities of Vadstena and Motala for two years.

Just before his retirement, Tore Persson gives up and stands behind a pardon application from Beirani.

- He did not have a permit to be in the country, yet he had to be in the country.

He had no opportunity to get out of here and no opportunity to get a job or anything.

"It touched me very strongly"

The government rejects Tore Persson's request.

The years go by and Beirani's mental health deteriorates, he loses weight and eats sedative tablets.

After trying to take his own life, he spends time in a psychiatric clinic.

The former pastor in Vadstena, Torbjörn Ahlund, is involved in the case:

- He did not receive any papers, he was not allowed to work and yet he had to stay, because it was not possible to send him back.

It touched me very strongly.

It has now been 22 years since the failed expulsion of Mahmoud Reza Beirani.

He agrees that he was the one who put himself in the situation when he committed his crime.

- I did not know that it would be as it was.

If I had guessed it, then all mistakes would be corrected.

It is as they say, it is easy to be hindsight, he says himself.

From having previously participated in the expulsion, Beirani is no longer willing to go home.

He says he has no connection to Iran and only has a few distant relatives left.

He is worried about what might happen if the authorities, in a country where a serious drug crime can be punished with death and torture of prisoners occur, are told that he once sold heroin in Sweden.

A "fairly positive" forecast

Today he lives with his friend Karolina in Motala.

Every month, he visits the social services that pay out financial assistance as Beirani, according to them, meets the requirements to be entitled to maintenance support.

Doesn't it send double signals that a part of society has decided that he should be expelled from here?

- I can understand that you think and that is how it looks right now with the regulations.

What we have to relate to is the right to livelihood, says Lilane Egnell.

Swedish authorities have since 1998 tried to establish Beirani's identity with the help of the Iranian embassy, ​​without success.

But the border police who are responsible for the deportation say that they have a "fairly positive forecast" and believe that it should be possible to implement.

Is it common for it to take as long as 22 years?

- I would say that it is not common.

Normally, we execute people already on the day of their release, says Ulrika Johansson, head of the border police in Region East.

After Assignment Review interviewed the Iranian embassy in Sweden, they have announced that they have now established Beirani's identity.

See the interview and read more about Iran's attitude to deportations here.