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Sweden Democrats appoint 300 judges

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10:39 CEST+02:00
As a result of the party's electoral success the Sweden Democrats are now in a position to appoint lay judges to the courts. In total the party will be able to send about 300 people to the district and county courts.

"The system in Sweden allows parties who enter local councils to get representation on local courts," Daniel Poohl, editor of the anti-racist magazine Expo, told The Local.

"We see a risk that the Sweden Democrats will choose people who have a

problem being objective in cases that involve immigrants.

"When the party was founded in 1988 it was called Keep Sweden Swedish. That was its ideology then and that is still its ideology now," Poohl added.

When The Local put this to the Sweden Democrats' press spokesman Jonas Åkerlund, he agreed that the party ideology still prioritised a homogenous Sweden. He maintained however that the party would not have any difficulty being objective in cases involving immigrants.

"Our job is not to be political in the courts," said Åkerlund.

Daniel Poohl is critical of some of the tactics used by groups on the far left. Last Sunday forty masked youths attacked a Sweden Democrat meeting in Eslöv in southern Sweden. The group broke a number of windows and threw metal objects into the meeting hall.

The Sweden Democrats' party secretary Björn Söder was injured in the melee and the party is considering hiring security guards and establishing private security groups to protect against such attacks.

"All the time they have seen themselves as outsiders and martyrs. These attacks serve to feed this self-image and possibly also to gain some sympathy and votes for the Sweden Democrats," said Poohl.

Jonas Åkerlund admits the Sweden Democrats have discussed setting up their own security forces.

"But it will not happen. Some people are discussing it but it would only hurt us. We have to rely on the police."

But the Sweden Democrats have reported the police for negligence in connection with Sunday's attack.

"Yes, they did a bad job on that occasion but mostly they are good."

According to Åkerlund, attacks on the Sweden Democrats are becoming less common.

"There have been two or three in the last year. I think it is because we are slowly becoming more established," he said.

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