• Sweden edition
 
Parents charged for 'exorcizing' teen girl

Parents charged for 'exorcizing' teen girl

Published: 24 Feb 2012 15:32 GMT+01:00
Updated: 24 Feb 2012 15:32 GMT+01:00

“According to the girl’s version of events she has been subjected to being locked up, has had her feet tied together, assault through being burned with a red-hot knife in a torture-like manner and other violent rites and exorcisms,” prosecutor Daniel Larsson wrote in a statement.

Along with the parents, a pastor from a small religious community in Malmö has been charged.

“There is a pastor in Malmö who is under suspicion but is currently abroad,” Larson wrote.

According to local paper Borås Tidning (BT), suspicions first surfaced in 2004 when an anonymous report to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) claimed all was not right, but the agency opted not to pursue the matter at the time.

Six years later, in 2010, the agency received new reports that the child was being abused, as well as information indicating that her father had taken her to Skåne to force the evil demons out of her.

The 37-year-old father denies all allegations saying he has done everything in his power to help his daughter who has been feeling “mentally unsettled”.

“He says he knows of no violence against her at all,” said defence lawyer Jan Elgmark to news agency TT.

Instead, the man claims to have sought medical advice, and help from his church, in dealing with the girl's problems.

The 33-year-old step-mum is under suspicion for systematically abusing the girl over a long period of time.

“She denies these allegations,” her defence lawyer Torkel Stenbäcken told TT.

The prosecutor claims that the parents have shaved off the girl's hair and locked her up so that she couldn't infect her younger siblings with her “inherent evil”.

“My client hasn't been privy to anything like that. But there are others who are under suspicion and it is possible that they have. However, it isn't a criminal act to give someone a haircut,” Stenbäcken told TT.

He also denied that the step-mother had burned the girl with a red hot knife.

“There is no substance to those claims,” her lawyer said.

The woman has, however, admitted to some form of exorcism being performed.

“Yes, you could say that but that isn't a crime. That's religion and you're allowed to practice that,” said Stenbäcken.

He added that it wasn't the step-mother who had performed the rites, but other people. Prayers had been said in order to exorcize the demons from the girl or make her feel better.

“This is done in a religious context and I guess they thought it might help,” Stenbäcken told TT.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

16:53 February 24, 2012 by Grokh
Oh so if its in the name of religion or religious traditions the law doesn't apply ?

Once again religious freaks claim their traditions to defend their crimes.

And once again religious freaks seek special treatment instead of following the law like everyone else.
16:54 February 24, 2012 by SwedePea
Religion should be banned in Sweden. Period.
16:57 February 24, 2012 by engagebrain
In the 21st century there are people in Sweden who believe in witches !

I guess that there is a much evidence for witches and devils as for god(s).
17:04 February 24, 2012 by gabeltoon
This all sounds strange, could it be that this family are from another country ????
17:51 February 24, 2012 by Mxzf
see http://vgnt.se/flicka-kan-ha-utsatts-for-voodoo-riter/

There are some names there, but I have no idea if those are correct.
18:25 February 24, 2012 by zooeden
If people believe in allah and fripping jesus of course they gonna believe in evil spirits, just read the news that people believe in ghosts!!!

There is no hope in mankind, period.
18:25 February 24, 2012 by Rod Munch
So honor killings are ok now as well since they are in a "religious context." That should excite many of our Muslim readers here.
19:43 February 24, 2012 by philster61
The Power of Christ compels you.......(Dr Evil to his chair. Austin Powers, The spy who shagged me)
21:14 February 24, 2012 by Dave N
They'll be Africans. This sort of thing happens all the time in London - and it's always Africans.
21:20 February 24, 2012 by Rey Stockholm
There is no doubt it is immigrants as suggested above

Why do they want to turn sweden into the sh** ho** they left in the first place
00:09 February 25, 2012 by strixy
I think I can almost certainly tell you which part of the world those parents are originally from. When i lived in the UK there were similar cases of witch hunt and exorcism always involving people from the same region of the world... . Maybe the authorities should recognise this as a problem and start educating those people before Sweden has its Sita Kisanga and Sebastian Pinto and Child B?
04:22 February 25, 2012 by Harry®
Let the courts do their job. Fact is Girls more so nowadays are often liars and thugs and not only a male domain.
06:35 February 25, 2012 by jomamas
This has nothing to do with religion, it has to do with crazy people.

Why doesn't the journalist do their job and shed light on the ethnicity of the individuals in question?

After all, if showing a 'cross' as if it is to blame is 'journalism' than perhaps their nation and ethnic origin might tell us a little bit about the subject as well?

Or does that not fit in with the 'pro immigrant' / 'anti faith' objective of the complete and utter propaganda of popular media regarding these issues?
08:32 February 25, 2012 by bcarroll
Saying this has nothing to do with religion is like saying that Crusades were due entirely to a need for European knights to seek more sunshine. Patently absurd!
11:24 February 25, 2012 by prince T
Why are will all accusing africans. Is knutby PASTOR african as well. religious sects exists in both african and european cultures. the difference is that it is very difficult to detect among our people. the africans in europe are easy to fish out.
12:01 February 25, 2012 by Keith #5083
tut Tut,Torkel. You mean it's not a crime to forcibly shave a child's head against their express will? You mean that it is your understanding of the law that a child does not have any rights but is the property of the 'parents'?

Did I miss something about the Swedish legal system?
23:38 February 27, 2012 by Value
@SwedePea In such a case, Sweden would be more sick and degenerated than North Korea.
23:17 March 2, 2012 by Evander
I've seen things like that here in the USA. Check on those other poor kids, because there is a good chance one of them will be afflicted with "witchcraft" now that their sister is no longer available for abuse. At least the parents might be prosecuted. That wouldn't likely happen here. :-(
11:41 March 6, 2012 by wikblom
So, Evander, parents don't get prosecuted in the US for "beating and burning" their children? Surely you jest. As a former US prosecutor I can assure you they do on a regular basis.
Today's headlines
Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

UPDATED: The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

Politics
Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven at an EU summit in Brussels this week. Photo: TT

Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'

Sweden is set to get 1.2 billion kronor ($168 million) back from the EU on December 1st, according to leaked EU documents which suggest that other European countries will have to make large top-up payments this year. READ  

Science
Asteroids leave mark on Sweden
Astroids can leave marks like these. Photo: TT

Asteroids leave mark on Sweden

Some 458 million years ago, Earth was whacked in a double asteroid strike, leaving craters visible in Sweden today, space scientists have reported. READ  

New coalition
New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Green Party leader Åsa Romson. Photo: TT

New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget

UPDATED: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's Social Democrat-led coalition has revealed its first budget proposal, listing plans to spend more than 20 billion kronor. READ  

Royal family
Swedish royal couple set wedding date
The couple pictured in the summer. Photo: TT

Swedish royal couple set wedding date

Sweden's Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist, who got engaged earlier this year, have announced they will marry next June. READ  

Analysis
Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: TT

Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'

There is talk that the nationalist Sweden Democrats could trigger a fresh election, by rejecting the new coalition's budget. But leading Political Scientist Li Bennich Björkman tells The Local that the party is just game-playing and should be focusing on getting its fatigued leader back. READ  

Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Chocolate and liquorice are on the menu in Gothenburg this weekend. Photo: Shutterstock

What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st

A secret gig in Stockholm, a short film festival in Uppsala and a gastronomy event in Gothenburg have caught our eye this week. READ  

Science
Astronaut helps launch first student satellite
Christer Fuglesang on a previous space mission. Photo: TT

Astronaut helps launch first student satellite

Sweden's debut astronaut Christer Fuglesang is helping students at KTH Royal Institute of Technology to become the first in the country to make their own satellite and send it into space. READ  

Weather
Sweden braces for ten centimetres of snow
Kiruna, in far northern Sweden, has already been hit by snow this season. Photo: TT

Sweden braces for ten centimetres of snow

Sweden's weather agency has warned that up to ten centimetres of snow are on the way for Sweden. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
Blog updates

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 

21 October

Denna & den här (The Swedish Teacher) »

"“Denna” or “den här”? Swedish language students often ask question about different pronouns. One pronoun that especially..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

967
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
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
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