The man, who is a refugee from Afghanistan, was wanted by the police after his application for asylum was rejected. He had remained on the run to avoid deportation.
But the police received information that the 24-year-old was to be wed.
“We knew that they were going to the city hall. We had to act before they managed to perform the ceremony,” Anders Kristersson of the Malmö police department told Sydsvenskan.
He said that pepper spray was used because the Afghan man resisted arrest. The man remains in the custody of the Malmö police.
A representative of the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) said that preventing the wedding was unnecessary as marriage to a Swedish citizen wouldn’t have any effect on the man’s deportation as the decision had already been made.
Migration Board communication manager Jonas Lindgren said that police had abused their authority. “You shouldn’t be able to use your power in this way,” he said.