Anna Lindh “slandered” on the internet

A Swedish website has been discovered with faked pornographic pictures of Anna Lindh and spoof ads about murder weapons, reported Aftonbladet on Tuesday. The timing of the discovery - in the midst of preparations for the memorial of Lindh's death one year ago - made it particularly disturbing.

“It is very sad that people are trying to use and abuse Anna’s name just to get some attention”, said Anita Krantz at the Anna Lindh Memorial Foundation.

Amost directly after Lindh’s murder, so-called “name thieves” were discovered trying to register internet-addresses in Anna Lindh’s name. The latest site was registered last February and the owner is listed as “Anita and Televinken”, a famous children’s programme from the 70s.

Last spring some other websites were discovered with slanderous fake pictures of Lindh, including one with her sitting in her office with a hanging rope beside her.

The latest site also features “death lists” with check boxes against each name, indicating who has been “dealt with” and who is next. Olof Palme and Anna Lindh have crosses in the boxes beside their names and other people on the list are Laila Freivalds and Göran Persson.

Solicitors are working to find a way of closing the site down.


Senegalese group wins 250,000 kronor Anna Lindh award

The Senegalese women's rights group Tostan was on Thursday awarded the second annual 250,000-kronor Anna Lindh Award for its work to help women in the west African nation.

“Tostan’s pioneering work has given women in Senegal self-confidence and the tools to bring an end to destructive social conventions” such as female circumcision, the Anna Lindh Memorial Fund said in a statement.

“With respect for local traditions and values, the organisation has given women the vision of a dignified life and the power to try to improve the quality of life,” the jury said.

Tostan – which means “breakthrough” in Wolof, the most commonly used language in Senegal – was created 10 years ago by Molly Melching, an American who has lived in the African country for three decades.

The organisation is aimed at helping educate women in rural areas about human rights, democracy, health, hygiene and income-generating projects.

As a result of the Tostan programme, 1,527 villages have put an end to female circumcisions and child marriages, the Memorial Fund said.

Melching, who accepted the prize on Thursday from the hands of former Swedish prime minister Ingvar Carlsson, said Anna Lindh “symbolizes the values Tostan stands for and is an important role model for women around the world”.

The Swedish foreign minister was fatally stabbed in September 2003 by a then 24-year-old man while shopping in an upmarket Stockholm department store without a bodyguard.

Tostan is “a fantastic example of of how others are continuing to work in Anna Lindh’s spirit,” Carlsson said.

Last year, the prize went to Israeli journalist Amira Hass, whose reporting from the West Bank and Gaza has helped contribute to a better understanding of Palestinian life under Israeli occupation.