City pays damages over job seeker headscarf row

The City of Stockholm is to pay 35,000 kronor ($4,500) in compensation to a woman who was forced to leave a municipal training course for wearing a long headscarf.

The course was aimed at helping people secure jobs in the cleaning business. But when the woman arrived at class the first day she was told that prospective employers would not accept the way she dressed. As a result, the woman’s name was struck off the list of course participants.

The incident, which occurred in April 2008, was reported to the Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen – DO). The ombudsman elected to sue the city on grounds of discrimination but on Thursday the two sides were able to reach an out of court settlement.

“Ethnic and religious diversity are part of today’s Swedish labour market. Employers are bound by law to prevent religious discrimination and unions have a key role to play in driving this issue,” said ombudsman Katri Linna in a statement announcing the compensation agreement.


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”. 


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.