• Sweden edition
 

Reinfeldt weighs in on village rape case

Published: 28 Mar 2010 11:49 GMT+02:00
Updated: 28 Mar 2010 11:49 GMT+02:00

"The victim is the one who should have our support and we're often lacking when it comes to that," Reinfeldt told news agency TT on the sidelines of a meeting of centre-right party leaders in Huskvarna in southern Sweden on Saturday.

"In all the years I have followed the justice system I have seen on numerous occasions how victims of sex crimes are often subjected to a double violation."

The prime minister's comments followed the airing in mid-week of an investigative television report from the village of Bjästa near Örnsköldsvik in northern Sweden. The programme, Uppdrag Granskning, detailed a case in which a 14-year-old girl, 'Linnea', was raped in a school toilet by a 15-year-old boy, 'Oskar'.

Oskar confessed to the crime and was suspended from school, but as rumours of his innocence began to circulate Linnea found herself the victim of a widespread smear campaign on the internet.

Buoyed by the support, Oskar retracted his confession but was later found guilty of rape in both the district and appeals courts.

As thousands signed up to back Oskar on social networking site Facebook, the situation ultimately became untenable for Linnea and her family, and she was forced to move 500 kilometres to a new school.

Furthermore when the end of the school term arrived, three months later, Oskar was allowed to attend a school awards ceremony in the local church service with the consent of the pastor, despite no longer attending Bjälsta school.

The service ended in a vocal public demonstration in support of the 15-year-old. Film footage from the service posted to the internet by Oskar's mother showed him passing out flowers to his former schoolmates and receiving applause and hugs in return.

Later that day, Oskar joined up with the his schoolmates to celebrate the end of term at a nearby beach. During the evening the boy raped a 17-year-old girl, 'Jennifer'.

Despite a second conviction in the courts, the online campaign continued with Jennifer now taking Linnea's place at the centre of the community's ire and suspicions. Comments on the Facebook page, blog and other internet sites, which had collected 4,000 members, became more and more accusatory against the girls.

The programme reported that not one single adult at Bjästa school took a stand against either Oskar or the campaign or rumours that spread around the small community - neither before nor after the court convictions. The only person found to have helped Linnea was a friend who found her in a distraught state immediately after the rape.

"It's important to say to the girl who was the victim and to the friend who stood up for her that they are the ones who should have our unreserved support. They're not the ones who did something wrong," said Reinfeldt.

The case has shocked Sweden and has led to a massive outpouring of support for the girls across the country in recent days.

The school principle and the village pastor have both been reported to the country's justice ombudsman for their alleged failure to support the victims.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
Day-care rape case
Re-trial looms in rape case after judge report
A police officer stands outside the daycare at the centre of the high profile case. File photo: TT

Re-trial looms in rape case after judge report

A senior judge has warned that a high profile day-care rape case could go to re-trial after the presiding judge was reported for alleged child porn offences. READ  

Löfven rejects 'Israel self-defence' post criticism
Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Löfven rejects 'Israel self-defence' post criticism

Social Democrats' leader Stefan Löfven has defended his controversial comments in which he supported Israel's right to 'self-defence' in Gaza, saying that he echoed his party's long term position. READ  

British School of Stockholm expands
Students at the school. Photo: British International School of Stockholm

British School of Stockholm expands

The British International School of Stockholm announced on Monday that it will be accepting students up to 13 years of age this autumn. READ  

Man charged for Swedish festival crowd rape
Veronica Maggio during her performance at Bråvalla festival. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

Man charged for Swedish festival crowd rape

A 20-year-old man was charged on Monday for raping a girl in the middle of a pop concert at the Bråvalla music festival in eastern Sweden in June. READ  

New royal Sofia makes Victoria Day debut
Sofia, newly engaged to the prince, will make her royal debut at Victoria's birthday. Photo: TT

New royal Sofia makes Victoria Day debut

Crown Princess Victoria turned 37 on Monday, and the entire royal family gathered on the island of Öland for the occasion which also marked the royal debut of Prince Carl Philip's fiancée Sofia Hellqvist. READ  

Bildt calls for 'immediate' Gaza cease-fire
Photo: TT

Bildt calls for 'immediate' Gaza cease-fire

Sweden's foreign minister Carl Bildt has called for an immediate cease-fire in the ongoing Gaza crisis, and said that Sweden is doing what it can to assist its citizens. READ  

Swedish pensioner wins fight for walkabout rights
Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Swedish pensioner wins fight for walkabout rights

A 90-year-old woman in southern Sweden has won he battle to receive assistance enabling her to leave her fourth-floor apartment and go on walks, after refusing to accept a rejection of her request for more help. READ  

Sweden Democrats barred from union posts
LO headquarters in Stockholm. File photo: TT

Sweden Democrats barred from union posts

Nearly half of Swedish trade union confederations bar Sweden Democrats from taking official positions, according to a report published on Monday. READ  

Pre-teen boys behind sex assault spree: police
The Göta Älv river in Trollhättan. Photo: Thomas Pettersson/Wikimedia Commons

Pre-teen boys behind sex assault spree: police

A group of boys, aged between eight and 12-years-old have been exposed as the perpetrators of a series of recent sex assaults in Trollhättan in western Sweden. READ  

Swedish town demands cut in refugee numbers

Swedish town demands cut in refugee numbers

The municipality of Svalöv in Skåne has threatened to shut down one of its refugee residences if the number of incoming refugees does not decrease. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Gallery
People-watching July 11-13
National
Malmö mayor slams Danish beggar ban
Blog updates

11 July

Interview with U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Cathy Russell (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"President Obama was elected in part because he’s uniquely in tune with the challenges of our time. He understands generational change. He can connect with diverse men and women, young and old, around shared values and a future we can all believe in. President Obama, his White House Team and Secretary of State John Kerry..." READ »

 

08 July

Lie of the land (Blogweiser) »

"Way up here in Northern Europe, beautiful places to swim are everywhere. When the sun is out, the water is a perfect blue, inviting you to jump in. The other day, a friend of mine did. He hopped in, got out, dried off, and then told me one of the most common lies you’ll hear..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Swedish anti-abortion midwife sues county
National
Swede's salary chopped for Facebook use
National
Northern Sweden warmest in 90 years
Gallery
'Victoria Day': Crown Princess Victoria turns 37
Politics
Mona Sahlin to fight extremism in Sweden
National
EU tells Sweden to cover up snus flavours
Society
Swede snags assassin role in Tom Cruise film
Lifestyle
Top ten ways to spend a few days in Malmö
Gallery
Swedish summer tourism highlights
Politics
US Congress gives medal to Swedish Holocaust hero
National
'Malmö has not become safer for Jews': rabbi
National
'Make beggars choose Sweden instead of Denmark'
Gallery
People-watching July 7-9
Gallery
Street style: Stockholmers bask in the summer sun
Tech
Swedes invent system to detect skin cancer
Society
Swedish mad king's warship to be investigated
National
Man beaten with iron pipe for hanging Israeli flag
National
The Swedish sausage-fish
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

706
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se