Widespread ethnic discrimination in Stockholm bars

Ethnic discrimination remains a problem in bars and nightclubs in Stockholm, police have said after carrying out a string of checks on Saturday night.

“Many bouncers tell us that they are ordered by their bosses to discriminate and that they dare not make a stand for fear of losing their jobs,” said police officer Annika Lindahl, who works on the Stockholm Police’s hate crime project.

Lindahl was one of a group of police officers checking out Stockholm’s clubs on Saturday. A number of clubs use a so-called pointer system, in which would-be guests stand in a crowd outside and door staff point at those they want to come in.

“This is an easy way for them to avoid letting in dark-skinned people, for example,” said Lindahl, who is now demanding orderly lines and clear signs outlining the criteria for entry.

“The problem is greatest in the Stureplan area. In Södermalm and Kungsholmen there seem to be fewer bars that discriminate in this way.”

Lindahl said that clubs also used high age limits as a means of discrimination.

“Dark-skinned people are refused entry on age grounds, while Swedes are allowed in straight away,” she said.

Despite evidence of discrimination, police were not able to prove that any crime had been committed during Saturday’s operation.