Joy Rahman arrested for murder in Bangladesh

Joy Rahman, 59, is in police custody in Bangladesh on suspicions of murder.

Joy Rahman arrested for murder in Bangladesh
Photo:Gunnar Lundmark/Svenska Dagbladet/Scanpix

Rahman served eight years of a life sentence following a 1994 conviction for a murder in Sätra, south of Stockholm.

Sweden’s Supreme Court later granted him a new trial and he was acquitted in May of 2002.

Rahman is being held in Gopalgonj, a few hours by car from the Bangladeshi capital of Dahka.

“He has let it be known that he has made contact with the Swedish Embassy, which has asked the court for permission to meet him. As soon as we’ve been granted approval, we’ll go there,” said Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anders Jörle to the TT news agency.

The Foreign Ministry’s role under such circumstances is to ensure the Swedish citizens are handled appropriately and have access to an attorney who can safeguard their interests.

According to the newspaper Aftonbladet, Rahman and three other men are suspected of murdering the treasurer of Rahman’s aid organization three years ago. Rahman built up the charity using funds from the record-large damages settlement he received from the Swedish state after he was freed by the Supreme Court.

Peter Althin, who represented Rahman in his retrial, is now trying to get information about what has happened to his former client.

“The situation is unclear and I don’t really know anything about the new case. It’s just too early to say whether I will travel down to Bangladesh and help him there,” said Althin.

Althin was heavily engaged in Rahman’s case in Sweden.

“I know him very well so I’m very interested in following how these new events unfold,” said Althin.

Rahman, who worked as a personal-care aid, was sentenced to life in prison in 1994 for the murder of a 72-year-old woman in Sätra. The was one of the public sector home care agency’s patients. She had been strangled with a noose and the murderer then tried to burn the body, but the flames later petered out.

The Supreme Court granted Rahman a retrial in 2002 and he was exonerated by the Stockholm Court of Appeals following a new hearing.

Having been deprived of his liberty for eight years, he was awarded 10.2 million kronor ($1.7 million at current exchange rates).

At the time, it was the largest damages claim ever awarded in Sweden.

Rahman used a large part of the money to build up the Joy Rahman Welfare Foundation, which provides healthcare and micro-loans to the poor in Rahman’s birthplace of Gopalgonj.


Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.