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DISCRIMINATION

Sweden bans university affirmative action

The Swedish government has announced that from August 1st it will no longer be permitted to favour prospective university students by virtue of their gender.

In a communication to parliament, the government stated that university admissions regulations will be changed to reflect only academic merits.

The Minister for Higher Education and Research, Tobias Krantz, underlined the importance of the principle that all individuals be treated equally regardless of their gender.

To exclude motivated and higher qualified women in the university admissions process is naive, Krantz said.

The background to the decision lies in cases such as one involving a group of students at Lund University who were awarded compensation in February for having been denied places to study psychology due to their gender.

The university settled out of court with the 24 women, who were each awarded 35,000 kronor ($5,000) in damages.

In a similar case, the Svea Court of Appeal ruled in December that it was illegal for the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala to prioritize men for its veterinary education programme.

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CRIME

Police in Sweden block Danish extremist’s new demo

Police in western Sweden have rejected an appeal by the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan against a decision to deny him permission for a Koran-burning protest in Borås.

Police in Sweden block Danish extremist's new demo

“Rasmus Paludan has a rhetoric which is intended to create disorder and chaos,” Emelie Kullmyr, the police officer in charge of protecting this year’s General Election in Western Sweden, said in a press release.

“We have seen how the public has been exposed to serious danger and police officers have been injured. The task of the police is to ensure security and we will do that, but all positive forces need to be helped to maintain peace and order.” 

In the press release, the police emphasised the importance of the public’s right to demonstrate and express their opinions freely, but said that the right to hold public demonstrations could still be curtailed in “exceptional cases”. 

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Paludan, who aimed to hold the demonstration on April 29th, can now appeal the police’s decision at the local civil court in Borås. 

He has now applied to hold on May 1st rallies in Uppsala and Stockholm for his far-right party Stram Kurs, or “Hard Line”. 

Koran-burning demonstrations held over the Easter holidays in the cities of Norrköping, Linköping, Malmö, Örebro, and in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby, led to the worst riots Sweden has seen in decades, with 100 police officers injured.

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