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CRIME

15-year-old girl charged over chat threat

A 15-year-old girl from Arlöv in southern Sweden has been charged with threatening to kill a schoolmate while they were chatting on the internet. The girl has admitted to the charge but also added that she had no intention of carrying out the threat.

According to police, the victim of the threat has long been bullied and harassed by a number of other pupils. The worst of the threats was made on the internet in the middle of February, Sydsvenskan reports.

When questioned by police the 15-year-old schoolgirl said that she had been surfing the internet at a friend’s house when she received a message from a girl she preferred to avoid.

The second time the word “hi” popped up on the screen, she began an exchange that ended with her threatening to kill the other girl if she came to school the next day. Having referred to her schoolmate as a “bitch” and a “whore”, she added that the other girl “never dared to come to school” anyway.

Aftonbladet reports that the victim of the bullying did stop going to school after the 15-year-old threatened to kill her. Her absence from school then became the cause of further internet harassment.

Because of her young age, the girl is likely to be fined rather than face the maximum one-year prison sentence for threats of this nature.

CRIME

Swedish Green leader: ‘Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity’

The riots that rocked Swedish cities over the Easter holidays were nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but instead come down to class, the joint leader of Sweden's Green Party has told The Local in an interview.

Swedish Green leader: 'Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity'

Ahead of a visit to the school in Rosengård that was damaged in the rioting, Märta Stenevi said that neither the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan, who provoked the riots by burning copies of the Koran, nor those who rioted, injuring 104 policemen, were ultimately motivated by religion. 

“His demonstration had nothing to do with religion or with Islam. It has everything to do with being a right extremist and trying to to raise a lot of conflict between groups in Sweden,” she said of Paludan’s protests. 

“On the other side, the police have now stated that there were a lot of connections to organised crime and gangs, who see this as an opportunity to raise hell within their communities.”

Riots broke out in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Stockholm, Norrköping, Linköping and Landskrona over the Easter holidays as a result of Paludan’s tour of the cities, which saw him burn multiple copies of the Koran, the holy book of Islam. 

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More than 100 police officers were injured in the riots, sparking debates about hate-crime legislation and about law and order. 

According to Stenevi, the real cause of the disorder is the way inequality has increased in Sweden in recent decades. 

“If you have big chasms between the rich people and poor people in a country, you will also have a social upheaval and social disturbance. This is well-documented all across the world,” she says. 
 
“What we have done for the past three decades in Sweden is to create a wider and wider gap between those who have a lot and those who have nothing.” 

 
The worst way of reacting to the riots, she argues, is that of Sweden’s right-wing parties. 
 
“You cannot do it by punishment, by adding to the sense of outsider status, you have to start working on actually including people, and that happens through old-fashioned things such as education, and a proper minimum income, to lift people out of their poverty, not to keep them there.”

This, she says, is “ridiculous”, when the long-term solution lies in doing what Sweden did to end extreme inequality at the start of the 20th century, when it created the socialist folkhem, or “people’s home”. 

“It’s easy to forget that 100 to 150 years ago, Sweden was a developing country, with a huge class of poor people with no education whatsoever. And we did this huge lift of a whole nation. And we can do this again,” she says. “But it needs resources, it needs political will.” 
 
 
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