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Ferry owners dismiss one 'bus apartheid' claim

Ferry owners dismiss one 'bus apartheid' claim

Published: 25 Mar 2013 11:50 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Mar 2013 11:50 GMT+01:00

One of the ferry companies accused in Sweden's "bus apartheid" storm has hit back against allegations passengers were placed on different buses according to colour of their skin.

Speaking to Aftonbladet newspaper after a morning spent in meetings, Viking Lines CEO Peter Hellgren said there was only one bus taking ferry passengers from Örebro, in central Sweden, to the terminal in Stockholm on one of the days mentioned in the claims.

"There would be no logic in us separating passengers, as everyone is getting on board the same ferry anyway," Hellgren said at noon on Monday.

Yet passenger Hassan Alizadeh stuck to his guns when Aftonbladet asked him about his trip on Decmber 21st, 2012, the date that Viking Line now says only saw one bus in operation.

A second claim of similar treatment on December 22nd, 2012 was not addressed in detail in the short web interview, yet Hellgren said his company had had confirmation from the bus company that a second bus was called in on that day.

"For people who feel they have been discriminated, we urge them to get in touch with us directly," the ferry boss said.

Hellgren added that this was the first time such claims had emerged from the more than 6 million passengers his company deals with annually.

"I find it difficult to believe that this would be a wider problem."

The ferry boss admitted, however, that he had not personally been in touch with the drivers implicated in the scandal, which has caused outrage in Sweden and received international attention.

Aftonbladet senior political commentator Lena Mellin said the reported incidents testified to the existence of "spiritual apartheid" in Sweden.

She also mentioned similar claims against another ferry company, Eckerölinjen. On Saturday, the newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) reported that passengers travelling from Stockholm to catch the ferry to the Finnish archipelago island of Åland were separated by the driver.

"It was a very unpleasant experience. It felt like we were on our way to Arlanda airport to be deported from Sweden," Swedish-born passenger Samer Chatila told DN.

In her impassioned editorial on Monday, Aftonbladet's Mellin also referenced the alleged indifference of ambulance drivers after a young refugee leapt from the second-storey window of a Migration Board facility in Gävle.

"Using the model from South Africa, there is an unspoken "whites only" policy on buses where Hans but not Hassan is allowed on board," she wrote.

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Your comments about this article

13:10 March 25, 2013 by 1982gogogo
At the bottom of this story there is a link saying Read also "He's a refugee let him jump." Readers should know that the "Refugee" story was originally posted last week. There were then a series of comments posted which showed the "Refugee" story to be highly innacurate at best. The Local's reaction was to get rid of the comments section.
13:15 March 25, 2013 by tilda8686sv
For me who is someone who have suffered with aparteid for half my life and then move to beautiful Sweden, it is insult that you use a word with so much evil to it for a made up situation like this. Apartheid is a crime. To use in this case is to laugh at those who lived with real apartheid.
13:57 March 25, 2013 by Migga
Good to see that the truth is beginning to come out. Every case should be taken seriously and investigated but it`s ridiculous when one consider the amount of attention this one case has gotten. It becomes even more laughable when the allegations now are being exposed as false. Just like the story about the refugee jumping out a window.

If the newspapers want to report about discrimination and segregation that`s been set in system, and isn`t some isolated case, they just need to look in any mosque, house of worship or the local bathhouses when women are allowed to swim.
14:06 March 25, 2013 by Greysuede
If asylum seekers or refugees from X country for X years and centuries occupy this country, I will just shut up instead of moaning being the dependent of such X country.
15:18 March 25, 2013 by RobinHood
Yesterday, we were informed by The Local, with unequivical certainty that the driver had divided passengers between two busses on account of their race; that he was a racist.

Today we learn that this was impossible because there was only one bus. Let's all hope the bus driver isn't a litigous sort of chap.

The number of Local readers who take stories of this kind at face value is quickly diminishing to the dim-witted, the gullible and the ignorant. Sadly, those adjectives seem appropriate to describe the journalist who chose to lift this story from Aftonbladet.
15:46 March 25, 2013 by grandmary
It seems like somebody at the Local better WAKE UP and delete this comments section in a hurry!!
16:00 March 25, 2013 by Khazara
Most racist have a Narcissistic personality disorder.

I don't know if you people have a hard time reading or are just racist to the core. The people complaining about the apartheid bus operators are very credible, indeed it seems to be a systemic problem in Sweden.

This is a common problem when a weak person (physically or mentally) who feels inadequate around someone they believe to have an advantage over them acts out then ignorance (Typical Swede behavior). I wonder why white people need to puff themselves up so much? Why must they devalue others so as fell valuable?

Typical Narcissistic personality disorder

@tilda8686sv I don't understand your comment. Did the white minority not treat indigenous Africans (the only real indigenous people) as third class citizens in Azania because those same whites needed to enforce a false (highly false) racial hierarchy that benefited settler colonalist whites? Are you even an African? I don't think so. Any African with any sense knows that nuances / degrees of racism.
16:48 March 25, 2013 by ragdoll
Let me get this. So whites are racists, racists are narcissists, therefore most whites must be narcissists. Am I close? Is this kind of what you are shooting at? But you are not racist I imagine. I bet you even consider yourself enlightened. Well...maybe you are right. On the other hand maybe there's another explanation. Maybe you are a drug addict. I am thinking crack. Maybe you are stoned right now as you write. The reason I say this is that you chose to live in a country that according to you is full of racist narcissists who hate you. You're either stoned or an idiot. I'll let you choose.
17:29 March 25, 2013 by Khazara
As I said before most racist have a Narcissistic personality disorder. They demonstrate this in everything they do and in every little thought they are able to conjure up.

The racist bus driver has been suspended; however, I suspect that the Swedes will try to downplay his behavior. They will either call him dumb are a person from an era that is long pass and should be able to keep his job. I would not be surprised if they declare the whole racist situation a misunderstanding.

Nonetheless, for a country that promotes itself as anti-racist funny on the contrary how many racist thoughts, feelings and acts are executed by the Swede ([white] not indigenous to this area) dying population.

Oh, by the way, I am an indigenous person (African) of the earth. Meaning my people were here way before you were even a mutated allele. We can live anywhere we choose.

Lay off the hillbilly heroin^^^^^^^^
18:23 March 25, 2013 by Solith
Excellent grasp of genetics and evolution there. Breathtaking.
18:33 March 25, 2013 by RobinHood
@ Khazara

Just for fun - please would you explain to us why your race makes you superior to the rest of us? A master race, so to speak.

I seem to remember an Austrian chap said the same thing seventy years ago. He, like you, also suggested those of lesser races were "mutated", and that his master race were also entitled to live anywhere they chose.

The similarities are uncanny, don't you think? Have you been having wierd thoughts about Poland recently?
19:04 March 25, 2013 by Khazara
@Robinhood

Have you read a biology book recently (not being sarcastic)? I am not denying any races ability to exist. However, it's from my experience that white people have a huge "chip on their shoulder" (not say other groups don't). There are a few theories as to why: Nonetheless, the collective (emphasis) behavior of Swedes and their inclination to act and believe that they are genetically superior when it is the farthest thing from the truth (whites are a recessive population to put it nicely) is what is so absurd in my eyes. It seems that human arrangements (won battles by the white collective, enslavement of whole groups and the present day living of the riches of those deeds) trump that for most laymen; thus, a bus driver who is essentially at the low end of the totem pole gets his "rocks off" by belittling people of color, thus essentially shoring up and enforcing the crumbling white status quo that is dependent on racism.

Nonetheless, I meet a fair amount of outwardly nice so called native Swedes but the character or as the report from Aftonbladet has stated; the "spirit of Sweden is racist".

My question is why? Why are Swedish people inadequate and if so why are they inadequate around people of color?
21:09 March 25, 2013 by johan rebel
Azania, where's that? Only exists in the minds of a bunch of extremists.

And what "outrage"? Mellin and her bunch of twitter maniacs? They sure do a lot of screaming and hollering, but does anybody really take them seriously?
21:32 March 25, 2013 by RobinHood
@ Khazara

But you still haven't explained to us why you think your race is superior, and other lesser races, mutants. Don't be embarrased, stick on a little mustache, raise your right arm up at 45 degrees and go right ahead. You know you'll feel better.
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