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Lund students in 'slave auction' outrage

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13:03 CEST+02:00
Two student associations at Lund University in southern Sweden have been reported for hate speech after a party featuring the sale of "slaves" complete with blackened faces and ropes around their necks.

The National Afro-Swedish Association (Afrosvenskarnas riksförbund) has reported Halland and Helsingkrona student associations, known at Lund University as Nations, after the so-called "jungle" parties.

"Slavery is one of the worst crimes against humanity and students at Lund University are trying to make a joke about it. They are laughing at the fact that several million of my ancestors were kidnapped, raped and killed," Jallow Momodou at the Afro-Swedish Association told The Local on Tuesday.

The "slave auction" took place on Saturday at a party organised at Halland Nation, which was attended by around 90 people. Three people with blackened faces and ropes around their necks were lead into the hall by a "slave trader".

The "slaves" were then sold during the course of the evening and the party moved on to Helsingkrona union.

Jallow said that he doubts the incident is based on a lack of knowledge about the slave trade and Sweden's role in the sale of human beings from Africa.

"This is not a bunch of skinheads. This is the elite. Lund's students - some of the best educated in Sweden," he said.

Jallow argued that the parties are symptomatic of the challenges faced by African immigrants in southern Sweden.

"This racism is becoming all too common. Of course it is irritating. They (the nations) claim it was a joke but this is based on widespread attitudes that people from Africa or have dark skin are of lower value."

The National Afro-Swedish Association has now reported the unions to the police alleging hate speech and Momodou Jallow confirmed that there are plans to pursue the matter with the Equality Ombudsman (DO).

Elinor Lavesson at Halland Nation has meanwhile expressed regret over the incident.

"Our party had a theme along the lines of the Lion King, the interpretation by the group of students was really stupid. They regret their actions and we plan to look over our equality policies to work to ensure that it doesn't happen again."

"It was not something we supported in any way and the focus of the evening was not on these four guests," she said.

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