Charges for father who held family captive

A 68-year-old father of four in Uppsala suspected of abusing his wife and children and holding them captive in their apartment was arraigned on Tuesday.

Charges for father who held family captive
The home in Uppsala of a man suspected of holding his family captive for years

He was arrested on June 27th after police received a call about a domestic disturbance, leading to knowledge of the family’s situation.

Shortly after the arrest, the woman filed for divorce, citing that the man had abused her and the children for 20 some years as grounds. The man has been charged with illegal imprisonment, gross violation of a woman’s integrity, abuse and making illegal threats.

It is believed that the 68-year-old kept his children, two sons and two daughters currently between the ages of 16 and 22, home from school their entire lives.

Just how the father was able to keep all four children out of school for so long without raising alarm bells is unknown, although authorities believe the family spent a significant amount of time abroad.

Social welfare services in Uppsala were unfamiliar with the family’s case prior to the police report.

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Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

The chairwoman of the Police Association West Region has said that police special tactics, known as Särskild polistaktik or SPT, should be available across Sweden, to use in demonstrations similar to those during the Easter weekend.

Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

SPT, (Särskild polistaktik), is a tactic where the police work with communication rather than physical measures to reduce the risk of conflicts during events like demonstrations.

Tactics include knowledge about how social movements function and how crowds act, as well as understanding how individuals and groups act in a given situation. Police may attempt to engage in collaboration and trust building, which they are specially trained to do.

Katharina von Sydow, chairwoman of the Police Association West Region, told Swedish Radio P4 West that the concept should exist throughout the country.

“We have nothing to defend ourselves within 10 to 15 metres. We need tools to stop this type of violent riot without doing too much damage,” she said.

SPT is used in the West region, the South region and in Stockholm, which doesn’t cover all the places where the Easter weekend riots took place.

In the wake of the riots, police unions and the police’s chief safety representative had a meeting with the National Police Chief, Anders Tornberg, and demanded an evaluation of the police’s work. Katharina von Sydow now hopes that the tactics will be introduced everywhere.

“This concept must exist throughout the country”, she said.

During the Easter weekend around 200 people were involved in riots after a planned demonstration by anti-Muslim Danish politician Rasmus Paludan and his party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), that included the burning of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.

Police revealed on Friday that at least 104 officers were injured in counter-demonstrations that they say were hijacked by criminal gangs intent on targeting the police. 

Forty people were arrested and police are continuing to investigate the violent riots for which they admitted they were unprepared. 

Paludan’s application for another demonstration this weekend was rejected by police.

In Norway on Saturday, police used tear gas against several people during a Koran-burning demonstration after hundreds of counter-demonstrators clashed with police in the town of Sandefjord.