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Ombudsman backs police on pepper spray at refugee wedding

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15:20 CET+01:00
The Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsman (Justitieombudsmannen, JO) has ruled that there is no case to answer for the police officers who interrupted a wedding to arrest a 24-year-old groom at Malmö city hall, using pepper spray on him in the process.

"That which has emerged does not give cause for any further measures or statement," the ombudsman Hans-Gunnar Axberger said in his decision.

The man's wedding on Saturday December 19th in Malmö in southern Sweden was brought to an abrupt halt as police arrested the man, a refugee from Afghanistan wanted by the police after his application for asylum was rejected.

The 24-year-old had remained on the run to avoid deportation and resisted arrest, aided by other guests at the wedding. The police officers then used pepper spray to disperse the crowd, which by then included the man's bride.

"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 local newspaper Sydsvenskan at the time.

The Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) has since confirmed 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.

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