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Sweden Democrat MP in racist Facebook chat

Sweden Democrat MP in racist Facebook chat

Published: 26 Apr 2013 10:20 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Apr 2013 10:20 GMT+02:00

In an expletive-laden 2011 Facebook chat with a party colleague about a graphic video of witch burning in Africa, Sweden Democrat MP Markus Wiechel, 25, referred to the people in the video as "monkeys" and "retarded pension-rescuers (pensionsräddare)".

The newspaper Expressen, which got hold of the leaked chat, explained that the Swedish term "pensionsräddare" is used in xenophobic circles to mock the argument that Sweden needs immigrants to help fund the pension and welfare needs of its aging population.

Wiechel, who also chairs the party's organization in Östergötland county and serves as an alternate member on its governing board, finished the chat by saying the clip made him "want to kill people".

He took his seat in the Riksdag to replace Lars Isovaara, who was forced to step down in December after he oinked like a pig and spat at a security guard outside the parliament building after reporting a robbery.

Isovaara called the Expressen newspaper himself and urged them to publish the story, but the paper later said the robbery never took place. Isovaara had instead left his bag behind in a Stockholm restaurant.

Police on the scene reported Isovaara for racial abuse following his attack on the guard.

When confronted about the Facebook chat, Wiechel distanced himself from the statements, claiming he was likely under the influence of alcohol at the time.

"If that's the case, I must have written it when I was drunk; that's not something I would write or agree with," he told Expressen.

Sweden Democrat spokesman Martin Kinnunen said the chat was leaked by a former party colleague who held a grudge against Wiechel. Kinnunen said this made it difficult to assess the comments, which were reportedly made in 2011.

"But if he said those things, I think it's extremely regrettable and he really doesn't think people should express themselves like that, even if they occur in the heat of the moment and in a private conversation," Kinnunen told the TT news agency.

TT/The Local/dl

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