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Sabuni stops cash to uncle's racism body

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11:27 CEST+02:00
She says it's nothing personal but the new integration minister Nyamko Sabuni has decided to stop state funding for the Centre Against Racism (CMR), an organisation headed by her uncle.

Since its foundation in 2003 CMR has received annual funding to the value of 5.5 million kronor. Nyamko Sabuni however is of the opinion that the organisation has failed in its mission to counteract racism and xenophobia.

"The few times I have heard about their work it has been in connection with some sensation or other," she told Svenska Dagbladet.

The minister's uncle, Mkyabela Sabuni, believes that the organisation will struggle to survive without state funding.

"We now have to get together with the government and try to find a solution. Otherwise it will be very difficult for us," he told Svenska Dagbladet.

The government did not look into a possible conflict of interests before the minister made her decision. Nyamko Sabuni says that she had no hesitation about withdrawing the CMR's funding.

CMR came under the spotlight in April 2005 when it saw hidden racism in a popular brand of ice cream.

When Svenska Dagbladet took a closer look at the organisation last summer it emerged that state funds were being used more for attractive furniture than the actual business of combatting racism.

At the same time as the newspaper published its withering reports, three female board members claimed to have been subjected to sexual harassment by a male board member, a Social Democratic politician.

As if that wasn't enough, it also emerged last summer that the organisation's accountant, Saied Tagavi, also a Social Democrat, had been found guilty of electoral fraud.

CMR's chairwoman, the Green Party's Yvonne Ruwaida, sees other reasons for the confiscation of state funds.

"There is a conviction that market forces should play a greater role. But the fight against racism is in the interest of society and is not something that the market can look after," she told Svenska Dagbladet.

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