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Driver suspended after 'bus apartheid' reports

Driver suspended after 'bus apartheid' reports

Published: 26 Mar 2013 07:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 26 Mar 2013 07:12 GMT+01:00

The bus driver who allegedly divided passengers according to their ethnicity has been suspended as the bus company continues to investigate the incident.

The move comes following media reports over the weekend that passengers were separated by the driver according to their appearance as they boarded buses travelling from Stockholm to catch the ferry to the Finnish archipelago island of Åland

One passenger, Samer Chatila, told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper the driver made "Swedes" and "foreign-looking" people travel on separate buses between Stockholm and the Eckerölinjen ferry terminal in Grisslehamn.

Christer Litzell, CEO of the People Travel Group (PTG) bus company, had an extended meeting with the accused driver on Monday as the company launched an investigation into the incident.

"He doesn't really have the same understanding of events that's been in the newspapers. It's one person's word against another's, which makes it a little tougher," Litzell told the TT news agency.

While the driver has been suspended as PTG carries out its investigation, the company's efforts to contact Chatila to discuss the incident have so far been unsuccessful.

"We haven't been able to reach him and he hasn't contacted us. We only have his version of events from what's in the newspapers," Litzell said.

On Tuesday, PTG plans to meet with its drivers and the ferry company while its internal investigation is expected to be completed after Easter.

"What's important for us is that we now do the right thing moving forward. None of our passengers should ever feel discriminated against in any way," Litzell told TT.

Allegations of discrimination on buses bringing passengers to Viking Line ferries also surfaced at the weekend.

Viking Line on Monday disputed the claims, however, explaining its records indicated there was only one bus taking passengers from Örebro to Stockholm on December 21st, the date passengers claim they were placed on separate buses according to their ethnicity.

The company added that drivers involved in the alleged incident "strongly deny" having divided passengers according to ethnicity or skin colour.

"We have zero tolerance for special treatment, racism, or sexism at Viking Line," company CEO Peter Hellgren said in a statement.

TT/The Local/dl

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Your comments about this article

08:04 March 26, 2013 by juicyjuice
Ha, this guy is cooperating, the lone witness has suddenly gone silent and this guy still gets suspended. This is the best thing that ever happened to SD.
08:09 March 26, 2013 by oldgreygoose
The more this story falls apart the more The Local writes about it...ideology over integrity. I had a teacher in school who taught us if you don't really know what you are talking about, say it loudly and people will believe you.
09:18 March 26, 2013 by RobinHood
It is standard human resources procedure to suspend staff during an investigation. Despite how The Local presents it, no inference of guilt or innocence may be drawn from ambulance drivers, bus drivers, or anyone else being suspended.

Why is it necessary for the comments section to make this important point clear?
09:50 March 26, 2013 by Migga
So now the accusers lies start to fall apart. I`d like to hear their answer when confronted that there was only one buss in one of the cases. And in the first case the accuser has now gone underground. I`ve read that the driver in the first case is contemplating suing, good for him. A shame The Local isn`t reporting about that.
09:52 March 26, 2013 by leonardjohnson
Now listin to me. we used to have this problum bak in alabama from whut my grand mother say. but thay said it was based on smell. the blacks did not have no muney and coold not afford no water too shower so thay was stinkey. tHe whites had all the muney an was very much so higenical and smelld reel fresh. but everybode know it was all black and white. dont buleive nuthin you is told.
10:19 March 26, 2013 by garbagecanman
When the driver is found innocent of racist behavior after having undergone this widespread media attack, I think the Local should name him Swede of the Week!
10:22 March 26, 2013 by biliousbob
I agree with Leonard. If you look at the past situation in the USA, that was real and grotesque racism. The suffering was immense. Those fights still exist around the world and that is where the world's attention should be, not on this made up silliness.
11:00 March 26, 2013 by RobinHood
@Biliousbob

The title of this website is The Local, and it is right The Local should report on local issues; not global.

But it is wrong for The Local to report unproven and unsubstantiated allegations as fact. Most news organisations protect their shareholders from ruinous damages payments for defamation, by using words like "allegedly", or phrases like "It has been claimed ..." The Local, rather recklessly declines to do this, and comes straight out with phrases like "racist bus driver" or "racist ambulance driver", even before an investigation has begun, let alone concluded.

In Sweden, defamation is a tort and a crime. If it should turn out that either the ambulance driver or the bus driver, or both, are not in fact "racist", one or two Local journalists really ought to go see their lawyers, and the editor (when he gets back from his Easter holidays) really ought to inform the shareholders of what has been going on these past few days.
11:31 March 26, 2013 by TG22
Christmas came early for SD this year, and The Local helped to delivery it on a silver plate...

You know, when you play the race card, sooner or latter, you'll end up and hot waters...
17:49 March 26, 2013 by kalbininkas
Why are there so many people here happy that this story might turn out to be a lie? Because it helps their Nazi agenda? Xenophobia is rampant in Sweden. Deal with it.
20:04 March 26, 2013 by TG22
Because it's time Blacks and Mussis learn that they can't play the race card as they wish, basing the country that took them in, feed them, give them house, money, school, health, everything free...

It's time these people realize they should be more thankful to the country that gave them so much or pack their crap and go back home...
20:30 March 26, 2013 by kalbininkas
@TG22 So what you're basically saying is that those people should be happy they receive second class treatment here since this is not their country anyway and therefore they don't have the same rights as ethnic Swedes. And then you get upset when they call you a racist.
20:51 March 26, 2013 by Migga
@kalbininkas

Noone is happy that it`s a lie, people are happy that the media is being exposed for the lies they are publishing. This is valuble information to show how twisted the media and the elite is. That`s why people would be happy, atleast I am. And you should be too. If anything you should think about what kind of effect this has when there is a real case of racism or discrimination. By that time the media may have already used up all their trust from dishonest reporting like in this case and noone will take the real cases of racism serious. That`s when we have a problem.
20:58 March 26, 2013 by TG22
Nop, I'm just saying that there was NO case, NO second class treatment, the whole story is a fraud, is has been taken apart many times... The guy has gone hiding because he is a scumbag...

In reality is they are treated very... very well... getting everything they couldn't even image exists, all fro free... So I think they should stop basing the country and people who gave them everything and be a bit more grateful...
21:20 March 26, 2013 by kalbininkas
@ Migga Look at the comments by TG22 and Juicyjuice. They seem pretty happy because it will help SD get votes and establish a Swedish Reich.

@TG22 You are right that the treatment they receive is much better than the one they would receive in their countries. But the point is that they are not treated as well as ethnic Swedes.

Personally I believe racism is a natural thing. It's hypocrisy I can't stand. Swedes are just as racist and xenophobic as everybody else. They just won't admit it.
22:01 March 26, 2013 by Migga
@kalbininkas

Swedes can be racist just like any else, just like they can be the most welcoming of others like any other. Racism excists in all countries, even though it differs from country to country. Dishonest reporting won`t solve the issue though and will only lead to more people supporting extreme groups when they notice they have been lied to by the media. An open and honest discussion is the way forward.
14:07 March 28, 2013 by scottabgekurtz
After living here for a year and seeing the true Sweden this does not surprise me. Additionally, Leonard Johnsons' moronic, bigoted, and racist comments,

"Now listin to me. we used to have this problum bak in alabama from whut my grand mother say. but thay said it was based on smell. the blacks did not have no muney and coold not afford no water too shower so thay was stinkey. tHe whites had all the muney an was very much so higenical and smelld reel fresh. but everybode know it was all black and white. dont buleive nuthin you is told"

show that he has the intelligence of my cat's litter box.
01:54 March 29, 2013 by xochipilli
"Leonard Johnson" is a troll. Anyone with basic English skills can see what he's trying to do: jam the conversation pretending to be ignorant. Shame on you, whoever you are.

The story stinks of defamation to high heaven, I don't believe any malice took place.
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