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RACISM

Police avoid charges in ‘Niggersson’ case

Public prosecutors have been unable to identify the source of racist names that cropped up in police training materials in southern Sweden and will not press charges in the case.

Police in Skåne came under fire early this year when it emerged that Malmö police officers had used the fictional names “Neger Niggersson” and “Oskar Neger” (Negro) for internal training purposes.

“The investigation is over. It’s not possible to proceed with it,” chief prosecutor Jörgen Lindberg from the National Police-related Crimes Unit told news agency TT.

It also proved impossible to classify the crime as racial agitation as the prosecutor was not able to prove that there was any malicious intent to distribute the racist names.

A police instructor first displayed the fictitious names on a screen during a course held for around fifty staff at the county police department in Malmö in the spring of 2008. Several officers reacted with shock to the sample names and the incident was reported to senior officers.

The course instructor responded to the criticism by erasing the names from the police’s internal computer system. According to the prosecutor, no log-in details remain to isolate the involvement of a particular individual.

“The system is full of made-up names like Maja Hallon [Raspberry] and Lasse Svensk [Swede]. There’s a lot of creativity when it comes to this sort of thing,” said Lindberg.

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RACISM

Black Lives Matter wins Swedish rights prize

The international civil rights movement Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation on Friday won Sweden's Olof Palme human rights prize for 2020.

Black Lives Matter wins Swedish rights prize
A Black Lives Matter protest in Malmö, June 2020. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The foundation was honoured for its work promoting “peaceful civil disobedience against police brutality and racial violence all over the world,” prize organisers said in a statement.

The Black Lives Matter movement, founded in 2013 in the United States, has “in a unique way exposed the hardship, pain, and wrath of the African-American minority at not being valued equal to people of a different colour,” the statement said.

The movement had its major international breakthrough in the summer of 2020 following several cases of extreme brutality in the US, including the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

READ MORE: INTERVIEW: Sweden's anti-racism protests aren't just about what's happening in other countries

Prize organisers noted that an estimated 20 million people have taken part in Black Lives Matter protests in the US alone, and millions more around the world.

“This illustrates that racism and racist violence is not just a problem in American society, but a global problem.”

The Olof Palme Prize is an annual prize worth $100,000 awarded by the Olof Palme Memorial Fund.

It commemorates the memory of Sweden's Social Democratic prime minister Olof Palme, an outspoken international human rights advocate — and vehement opponent of US involvement in the Vietnam War — who was assassinated in Stockholm in 1986.

Since 1987 the award has honoured human rights defenders around the world including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.

An online prize ceremony will take place in Stockholm on Saturday.

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