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Agency forces amputee to prove leg still gone

Even though ten years have passed since Fredrik Jansson from Skellefteå in northern Sweden had his leg amputated, he must still prove his leg hasn't grown back in order to keep his disabled parking permit.

Agency forces amputee to prove leg still gone

“It is ridiculous to say the least. It defies all common sense,” Jansson told The Local.

Eleven years ago, Jansson was forced to have his leg amputated after a long battle with cancer.

Despite the fact that it is unlikely his condition will get better, he regularly has to prove to local authorities that he has enough trouble walking to need a disabled parking permit.

“I go down to Umeå once every three years and have a doctor establish my leg is still gone,“ he said.

According to Jansson the trip makes him lose a day’s wages as well as using up a medical appointment someone else might have been more in need of.

But according to the local authorities, the medical certificate is necessary in order to establish who needs a permit and who can manage without, as there are a limited number of disabled parking spaces in the area.

“It is really difficult for us to judge these things and that is why we need the medical recommendation,“ said traffic administrator Annica Persson from Skellefteå municipality to The Local.

She also pointed out that there are very many prosthetic aids for those lacking limbs today, which also makes it difficult for laymen to know who can manage without a permit and who can’t.

For Jansson, however, a prosthetic leg is not an option.

But even if it was, he doesn’t think he would manage without a disabled parking permit if he was trying to carry shopping bags, manage crutches, and forced to walk some distance to his car.

But according to Persson the authorities are not allowed to take carrying groceries into consideration.

“We are only allowed to make our judgement from the person’s ability to walk,” she said.

However, Persson also said that it is in fact possible for the authorities to make an exception from the rule and use the same medical note twice, provided the certificate has enough information in it.

She also said that using it more than two times would probably not be possible, or the certificate would be considered outdated.

“But even so, the actual application for the permit still has to be handed in every three years,“ Persson said.

Jansson understands that it is not in fact Persson and the local authority that make up the rules, but he still thinks that it is ridiculous that the permit has to be renewed so often.

“It’s not like my leg is going to grow back,” he told The Local.

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OFFBEAT

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim

Police on the island of Gotland removed a public sculpture from the Galgberget nature reserve near Visby on the grounds that it is just too creepy.

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim
The gallows at Galgeberget. Photo: Artifex/WikiCommons
According to local news site Hela Gotland, someone was out for a stroll on Galgeberget (the Gallows Hill) on Wednesday when they saw what they thought was a body hanging after a suicide. Local police were contacted but when they went to investigate they instead found a sculpture by artist Jessica Lundeberg. 
 
The artwork, entitled ‘The Watcher in the Woods’, is a partially transparent plate sculpture that looks like a spooky little girl. 
 
 
Despite discovering that the suspected suicide victim was actually artwork, police determined that Lundeberg’s piece could scare others and thus took the sculpture down. 
 
“It was decided that if it were to remain, more people would likely be frightened in the same way,” Gotland police spokesman Ayman Aboulaich told Radio P4 Gotland. 
 
Lundeberg told Hela Gotland that the sculpture has been at Galgeberget since a public art project last summer and that this was the first time it had caused any concern. She said ‘The Watcher in the Woods’ was the only piece that was allowed to remain after the end of the project. But now it is there no more. 
 
 
Lundeberg has taken the sculpture back to her studio. While she hopes it will eventually return to Galgeberget, the artist told Hela Gotland it seems unlikely.  
 
She said that the sculpture was damaged by police. 
 
“It was ragged, dismantled and broken. I was horrified when I saw it,” she said. 
 
Police have reportedly promised to pay any necessary repair costs.
 
Although the person who reported the sculpture to the police has not spoken with the media, their jump to conclusions could perhaps be attributed to the nature reserve’s macabre history. Galgeberget is still home to gallows that were used to hang criminals for centuries. The last execution to be held at the site was in 1845, according to Hela Gotland
 
 
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