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CRIME

Man indicted for killing teenager

A father whose family had been the victims of repeated harassment by a group of teenagers was indicted on charges of murder and attempted murder for killing a 15-year old boy and seriously injuring another youth last October at his farm near Rödeby in Blekinge county.

Man indicted for killing teenager

The man fired upon the youths at close range with a shotgun the night of October 6th last year and was arrested that same night after having alerted police that he had shot two people.

The two victims were part of a group of several youths who had come to the house during the night. According to police records, the suspect and his family had previously been harassed by the same gang of youths. The suspect explained while in custody that the youths had called his family’s home earlier in the evening threatening to kill his son.

In the court summons, head prosecutor Tommy Clevenhult wrote that the suspect acted with intent to take the lives of the two victims.

The surviving victim, now 17 years old, had knocked on the suspect’s door with a wooden stick when shots rang out, hitting the 15-year old victim who died on the scene. According to the account of one witness, the 17-year old was shot as the youths gathered around the fallen 15-year old. Another witness explained that the 17-year old approached the victim carrying a wooden stick. The suspect warned the 17-year old to stop, when, according to the account, the youth stopped just as the suspect shot him.

Blood tests following the shooting showed that the suspect had a blood alcohol level of 1.3. The suspect also had licenses for three guns and had completed a hunting licensing course.

The trial is set to start in Blekinge district court next week.

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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