The story of Bernt Herlitz, a dental hygienist from the Swedish island of Gotland, came under the spotlight in 2016 when he revealed an unpleasant truth. Herlitz was analyzing the teeth of “unaccompanied” minor migrants who started to arrive in the Scandinavian country as the worst refugee crisis since WWII struck Europe. It turned out that wisdom teeth of the ‘children’ were fully grown in 80 percent of cases, a sign clearly showing that Herlitz’ patients were far from being underage.
“If you have an X-ray you can easily see that the person is over or under 18 years old. About 80 percent were grown-ups,” he said, speaking to RT.
Herlitz shared his concerns with an immigration officer who advised him to file a report about his findings. Yet the reaction from his employers was not so bright – they fired him, arguing he’d violated medical confidentiality.
“I was fired because I followed the instruction that the woman from the immigration office gave me. I sent an email to the immigration office that I could confirm those people were over 18 years old,” he continued.
The dental hygienist then sued his employers and won damages. But the Region of Gotland appealed to the highest labor court in Stockholm and hired one of Sweden’s top-ranking lawyers “to crush” him, as he says on his website. On July 4 he learned that he lost his case and also admitted “economically bankrupted him and his family.” The dentist, who had worked in the sector for 10 years, was fined some 475,000 kroner ($54,000).