Fire at Vellinge refugee hostel

A fire was deliberately started outside a hostel housing refugee children in Vellinge in southern Sweden on Saturday. Demonstrations for and against the controversial refugee centre will be held in the country on Sunday.

Police were called to the youth hostel in Hököping in Vellinge at around 5.30pm on Saturday evening after a pile leaves was set alight outside.

The hostel is at the centre of a recent controversy after it was commissioned by Malmö city council as a transit centre for refugee children. Vellinge county council has long opposed offering shelter for refugees in its municipality.

“We have a number of people at the scene to look for clues,” said Lars Karsten at Skåne police to the TT news agency.

Karsten concluded that the pile of leaves would hardly have set alight by itself.

Staff at the hostel noticed the fire and were then able to alert the police.

The youth wing of the far-right Sweden Democrats is planning to hold demonstrations in Vellinge on Sunday to protest against the shelter and in defence of Vellinge’s right to decide its own refugee policy.

A counter demonstration will also be held to argue for Vellinge’s responsibility to show solidarity with fellow human beings. A further demonstration will take place at Sergels Torg in Stockholm.

Police hope that the demonstrations will pass off peacefully but are prepared for clashes.

“We are always prepared for it, it is a sensitive situation at the moment,” Jörgen Sjöstad at Söderslätt police told local newspaper Sydsvenskan.