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Outrage over handcuffing of 12-year-old boy

The Local/dl · 6 Oct 2011, 08:09

Published: 06 Oct 2011 08:09 GMT+02:00

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“Ow! My leg,” the boy can be heard screaming on the video, which was recently posted on YouTube.

The incident took place last summer at the Slussen metro station after guards were called to deal with youngsters who were reportedly riding between the rail cars of the Saltsjöbanan tram line.

When the guards met up with the 12-year-old and his friends, the situation quickly turned heated.

“I climbed between the cars, and then went in again. Then they came up and said, 'follow us, don't resist',” the boy told Sveriges Television (SVT).

“Then I looked back at my friends, and that was like, resistance, or something. Then they pushed me into a wall and then I got handcuffed. The rest is on the film.”

In the YouTube video, filmed by one of the boy's friends, the guards can be seen pressing the 12-year-old up against a window with his arms behind his back before placing him in handcuffs and wrestling him to the ground of the platform.

The guards were reported to police for professional misconduct, but the case was dropped after investigators concluded that guards acted appropriately.

“There is nothing in the film that demonstrates professional misconduct,” Britt-Marie Hackzell of the Stockholm police told the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper, adding that the boy didn't do as he was told and that the guards were dealing with a group of rowdy young people of various ages.

However, the boy's mother remains adamant that the guards acted inappropriately.

“It doesn't matter what happened before the assault,” she told SVT.

“I know my son can be difficult and cocky, but you can't act like that toward a 12-year-old.”

Story continues below…

Jesper Pettersson, a spokesperson for public transit operator SL, which managed the contract with the security company that employed the guards in the film, admitted that the film is provocative.

“It could have been handled differently. It's part of being a security guard to be challenged, to be called names, among other things. But a guard should be able to handle that, especially when it comes from small children,” he told Aftonbladet.

In the wake of the film's release, the guards have been taken off duty pending an internal investigation.

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Your comments about this article

09:18 October 6, 2011 by skogsbo
he is probably a little $hit, plus if he had wrestled free and some how ran in front of train, all the do gooders would be say that he should have been restrained. The guys did what they thought best at the time.

If true and they were riding the trains outside them?, then grabbing them seems quite fair in preventing a worse accident. The mother is just after attention or cash, her little angel was innocent!
09:24 October 6, 2011 by senlac
quite right - stupid arrogant kids like this need to be taught a lesson..
09:28 October 6, 2011 by Pont-y-garreg
I fully support the action of the guards.
09:29 October 6, 2011 by RobinHood
Like it or not, the law in Sweden is strict, and clear. It is a crime to hit, hurt or fighten a child; even naugthy ones.

The boy's squeals of pain, and cries of "Ow my leg" is powerful evidence the guard was hurting the child for some of the time he was prostrate and bound.The guard will need to show why it was necessary for him to hurt the child at that time. I look forward to hearing his explanation.

A guard who is unfit to be around children, is unfit to work in public places. He may have to be reassigned to guarding then coal pile, at nights.
09:49 October 6, 2011 by hunnysnowbee
Well I for one would rather my child get cuffed and returned to me in one piece, even if with a bruise to the leg, than have them scraped off the railway line in pieces if they were stupid enough to do something like that! Death by train is far from pleasant. I have heard some horrific stories from a freind who works on the London underground, involving accidents and suicides on the lines.
09:55 October 6, 2011 by beam_me_up
It was probably the first time in his life he was made to do what he was told. The article makes reference to the treatment of small children. He was hardly a "small" child.
09:55 October 6, 2011 by JohnAndersson
This is just another example of how the law no longer protects citizens against other fellow citizens just because they are a "guard" or "police" - shame on Sweden if we allow this downward spiral to continue. If the laws stop protecting the people then it allows for nothing but the citizens to take the laws back and solve situations in their own hands. Thank you Anonymous and other groups who allow us to do so!
09:55 October 6, 2011 by Abe L
I don't understand why the law allows rent-a-cops cuffing children. This is retarded, let the REAL POLICE do their job and deal with these kind of people. It's very strange that in a civilized country such as Sweden these kind of people have such privileges.
10:07 October 6, 2011 by just a question
They were "youngsters who were reportedly riding between the rail cars of the Saltsjöbanan tram line."

And probably they were told to stop doing what they were doing. And probably they continue doing what they were doing, making fun of the guards. They do the same in the schools. It is really wrong beating a child, we all agree on that. But it is really wrong let youngsters do what they want to do all the time without limits, even in schools. And Sweden will pay the price in the future.
10:23 October 6, 2011 by ritzy
Are you kidding me? The youngster were kicking that guard, while the rest of the gang verbally threaten/cursing at the guards. Imaging they have stocked a weapon somewhere. The guards gets pay to make sure EVERYONE is safe. I am sure they are reasonable if the teens act with of respect. No one wants to be in difficult situation (especially security), if you can talk a sense out of them. It makes everyone's life easier. Why do they want to screw with you, if you are not doing something stupid? They can just have their easy day in/out, get pay and go home at the end of the day.

The teen deserves it, period.
10:30 October 6, 2011 by prince T
I agree with @abe that police should do tjeir job. The vakter most of the time abuse priviledges. At the same time, i think the parents of this kid be arrested. They should even be ashamed of talkin after raising a frakentein into the society
10:35 October 6, 2011 by deaninsweden
Hard to say as the video does not show what happened prior. I think the guard did use excessive force when taking the kid to the ground but apart from that it was just a lot of hot air and shouting.

Kids today do seem to get away with much more than they did in my day, so maybe this is a step back to how it should be.

Saying that why didn't the kids just run? These two have to be the most overweight guards I have ever seen!
10:47 October 6, 2011 by 007
They are utterly abusive in their actions. If their 200+kg combined weight can't retrain a 12-year old they are incompetent and at best, poorly trained. They should be fired and the Securitas owes the family a public apology. Shame on Securitas.
10:50 October 6, 2011 by goawai
When I read the article i thought it was horrible. Then I saw the video and thought "that kid deserved it".
10:51 October 6, 2011 by jostein
@Abe L

Well, the most important function of the police is actually quite cheap. It needs a commandstructure and men with sticks.

swedish police are very expensive, rentacops are very cheap. So, this basic function has been franchised to rentacops in sweden, to a large extent. I know nobody ever talks about this and that it was not planned but thats how the system works nowadays.

Its pretty much the same in other countries even thou the state employs the men-with-sticks directly. Like for example maderas in Spain?

@RobinHood @007 @JohnAndersson

In your world the criminals and the ruthless and the violent would rule with impudence. You are a supporter of chaos and destruction. If you have swedish citizenship, may i suggest that you vote for MP. Their policies are exactly the same. Just read their party program, longer version.
11:09 October 6, 2011 by HYBRED
The kid being cuffed is as much for his safety as much as anyone elses.
11:11 October 6, 2011 by soultraveler3
These children were doing something incredibly stupid by riding between the cars and when caught and told to stop the got an attitude with the guards. The mother should be thanking the guards for possibly saving her son's life instead of whining.

Sorry, but it sounds like the brat finally got some discipline. The mother said "I know my son can be difficult and cocky." Well, if she would've disciplined him properly (nothing physical btw) he probably wouldn't have ended up in this situation. The fact that she's trying to defend his actions speaks volumes about her parenting.

If was screwing around on rail cars, got caught, gave attitude to the guards and got handcuffed / arrested my parents would've been livid with me, not with the guards that made me to stop risking my life. I would've been grounded and had privileges taken away for a very long time.
11:17 October 6, 2011 by 007
@jostein. i support a world of professionalism and proper training. 12-year olds are little shits are part of their DNA. if a guard who clearly weighs well over 100kg restraining a child in handcuff cannot manage that without excessive force he is clearly unable to carry out his duties as a security guard and should take a desk job.
11:23 October 6, 2011 by muscle
leave the guards alone. Fine the kid and the parents a huge some of money for bad upbringing! If the law allows then a kick or two should be given to the parents butts!
11:26 October 6, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ soultraveler3

I agree with you 100%. That action could possibly have saved his life. The mother defending his stupidity is just another example of lack of discipline or accountability. I am against child abuse 100%. ( now I am talking about Sweden, but it happens in many other countries too) There are enough, spoiled, indulged, mouthy, bratty little Swedes running around with their "entitlement" attitude that could use a good old fashioned dose of a swift kick in their ASSets.
11:27 October 6, 2011 by CurlyOne
This is the first evidence I've seen of these security people actually doing something other than chatting with each other. They stand around at Fridhemsplan where the crowds and traffic flow are terrible and do nothing to encourage people to move along the platform, or remind them of alternative staircases.
11:36 October 6, 2011 by Dr. Dillner
Sounds like the parent is part of the problem in this affair too and did much to create the idiot boy we read about here. Perhaps we should relieve this boy of his testicles before he can reproduce more idiots in this world?
11:37 October 6, 2011 by RobinHood
@ Jostein

"In your world the criminals and the ruthless and the violent would rule with impudence."

The law in Sweden is not "my world", nor my law. I do not make the Swedish law, nor necessarily agree with it. However, I must respect it, and I must agree to abide by it. I must do this because I have chosen to live in Sweden.

If you yourself are unablle to abide by the Swedish law, (for example by hurting a child,) you must quickly leave the jursdiction, before you find yourself in serious trouble with the law you seem to so disrespect.

Personally, I would be extremely uncomfortable to have you around my children.
12:04 October 6, 2011 by jostein

Seems you are not aware that this case has already been found to NOT be in breach of swedish law :) Funny.
12:16 October 6, 2011 by Migga
@ RobinHood

His explanation would be that he took the youngster to the ground because he was kicking. By taking the suspect to the ground you remove the threat of him kicking. Thus preventing any injure to yourself, him or anyone else.

He then put his knees on the youngsters bum which he could have planted in his spine instead, but he didn`t. That way he could keep the youngster down while having his hands free to push of any of the youngsters friends.
12:27 October 6, 2011 by calebian22
"I know my son can be difficult and cocky, but you can't act like that toward a 12-year-old."

In other words,little Johnny's reign of terror at home, met the real world. Hello! There are consequences to misbehavior that Mama and Papa have not reinforced. LOL.
12:46 October 6, 2011 by flintis
Too many of these little B's messing about on trains, they only learn when things go wrong, then it's too late because they're dead.

I don't agree with Swedens "vakt" mentality (most of them have failed to get into the Police or are ex crims & bullies) but something needs to be done about youngsters disrespect & disregard for safety rules.
13:19 October 6, 2011 by rybo1
Yes I agree, he was probably a little sh##! I taught school here for a time and believe me there are lots of little arrogant Sh####! That's why I resigned. OOOOO, the poor children, how they are abused. Ya, right.
13:20 October 6, 2011 by RobinHood

And the debate, in this forum, and many other branches of the media, is whether the police decision not to prosecute was correct.

If I were you, I wouid keep well away from children until that debate is concluded, and even after then too.

Not so funny now laughing boy.
13:23 October 6, 2011 by 007
when they restrained the boy (the part everyone is calling "saving his life") he was sitting in the regular part of the train.

he did something stupid and dangerous. the guards acted violently. they need better training. the CEO of the security company admitted that there is no training specific to how to handle children.
13:53 October 6, 2011 by jostein

If you wish to avoid having your children manhandled by guards, i suggest you teach them to behave. I do not work as a security guard so your constant references to me and your children is somewhat peculiar?

The presecutor and the police decided to close the investigation. The youngster was misbehaving and did not obey the orders of the guard. And there is nothing in swedish law about an agelimit for handcuffs, according to the police.

I mean, not agreeing with the swedish law and arguing that in your opinion it should be changed is fine. Even thought it would be a rather abrupt change in position from your posts #4 and #23.

Ignorantia juris non excusat :)
14:31 October 6, 2011 by Dogs_Gonads

OK lets go with your VERY strict definition of the law.

If child A was going to cause serious harm to child B

lets say with a knife or a stick.

How would YOU stop stop child A from carrying out the attack WITHOUT causing any harm to child A.

Remember what you said in your original post 'hurt, hard or frighten'.

The law in Sweden regarding those three parts is NOT that black and white or strict.
14:39 October 6, 2011 by skogsbo
If the kids was getting violent, the guards were potentially out numbered by his mates, then you take the catalyst out, be it a kid or adult, he could have been carrying a knife or anything, plus a half heart take down is more likely increase the risk of injury should he struggle. It's brutal, but if you want to play in the adult world, jumping trains and giving adults abuse, then you have to accept some adult intervention.

The parents are as much at fault, as are his school. As said it probably the first time someone said "no don't do that", but then actually followed it up with some reprisals when he never. We need more people like that is Sweden, then the kids wouldn't get like this is the first place.

Perhaps they could introduce some different take down tactics for teens, but at the end of the day. The only person who slightly hurt if at all (he probably played up once he knew his mates were recording it) was the kid riding trains.

As mentioned above, there are plenty UK underground drivers with horror stories having been the driver hitting adult suicides, imagine if a child got hurt and the staff have to deal with that. Why is it always about the hard done law breaker?!
14:58 October 6, 2011 by eppie
A clear case that involves only idiots.

So I agree with muscle but think that also the guards should be fined.

So fine the guards for using excessive force

Fine the kid and his friends for criminal behaviour.

And fine the parents for failing in a huge way raising their child.

You see these cases often though. In our increasingly rightwing society we all want harsher punishments, but when somehting happens to us or our children we don't want to accept things that were normaöl 50 years ago.

It is not good to hit children, but this action is hardly worth complaining about.
15:35 October 6, 2011 by Central European
I ´d say that if the man such those guards will be employed in prison where the woman guard was killed by unarmed man prisoner it would be better for society definitely :)
15:54 October 6, 2011 by Svensksmith
Maybe the kid learned a lesson about respect. Probably not, though.
16:34 October 6, 2011 by conboy
A knee in the back of a twelve year old boy who is already handcuffed amounts to common assault the guards are in trouble - the video evidence was probably not available when the prosecutor looked at the case.
16:34 October 6, 2011 by Roy E
Perhaps an unpleasant experience now will save the boy from bringing even greater misfortune down upon himself and , more importantly, others in the future.

The worst thing that one can do for the boy's character development at this point is instill into him the notion that he's a victim, thereby reinforcing his delinquency.

Stupid actions have consequences. It's a good lesson to learn.

Deal with overbearing guards as a separate issue.
16:46 October 6, 2011 by Grokh
This is one of the problems with swedish youth , spoiled and overly protected they think they can do anything because they are young and society allows them the room to do stupid stuff because they are still trying to find themselves.Which is kind of stupid and of course abused.

sure guards probably were tugs like most cases, but swedish kids have this whole thing about anti authority as if they have something to prove, and since the encouragement given by grown ups is so past normal they most of the times end up facing no consequences
17:27 October 6, 2011 by BillyB
obnoxious, horrible little turd.

they should have kicked him too.

he is a disgrace and so are his parents for raising a brat like that.
17:49 October 6, 2011 by jostein
#34 conboy

According to SvD the police ruled that the guards acted correctly based on the knowledge available to the police, including seeing the movie.
17:59 October 6, 2011 by Mina08
Plastic police at it again, i have seen many situations like this when the fatties from security firms go over the top, he is 12, so why handcuff him, they could of just kept a hold of him...
19:04 October 6, 2011 by BigDogRex
From the bulk of the comments here, I gather that no one here has ever cuffed an uncooperative suspect. It is not as easy as it may look on TV, even if it's just a 12-year old. In fact, big brawny guys can be easier to deal with than a tiny wiry kid. Especially when you are trying to not cause any harm. From the footage, it appears that no serious harm was inflicted on the kid. The facts that (a) the boy was cuffed over his bag (a big no-no if he was cooperating) and (b) the cuffs appear incorrectly placed indicate that there was a struggle to get him cuffed. Unpleasant as it may be, it is far safer for a resisting suspect to be in cuffs than to be restrained by other means of force. Likewise, if a suspect is still resisting after being cuffed, being escorted to the ground is the safest place for both suspect and officer. It's not pleasant, but if you don't like it you can always do what you are told instead.

In my experience, videos like this that end up on YouTube are typically edited to cut out the parts where the suspect fights, endangers him/herself or others, etc. All that is shown is a poor, innocent individual being manhandled by the police (or security guards in this case). This video starts when the boy is already restrained. We don't know what led to the kid being cuffed - other than "he said, she said" testimonies.

All that aside, one comment on the security guards. I know they're not police officers, but for crying out loud - have some professional pride (or at least concern for their health) and lose the gut!
22:58 October 6, 2011 by dizzymoe33
See what happens when you can't discipline your kids anymore?! The end result is they run wild and ramped in the streets with no cares or consciences for their actions. Sounds like the kid got what he deserved for his actions.
23:31 October 6, 2011 by t64
By the way Mom defended him, my guess is that his father is the Swedish State Department, rearing one of the future leaders of Sweden.
01:01 October 7, 2011 by GLO
Bad MOM, raised a future terrorist....
06:58 October 7, 2011 by eddie123
the mother ought to be ashamed of herself for raising an ill mannered child. she should shut up and sit down. this is the problem with most parents today. they can't train their kids properly and when decent people in society try to educate these miscreants, these shameless and incompetent parents jump up and become cheer ladies for the inept conduct of their wayward kids. if you are old enough to be a miscreant, you are old enough to be handcuffed or teased just as any grown miscreant would.
10:55 October 7, 2011 by PoJo
At 12 you're not such a child anymore. The mother obviously knows how her child is but still wants to make this big. Let him be the example to his other friends to see that actions have consequences.
12:19 October 7, 2011 by Scansson
Absolute Fantastic !!!

It's about time people (in this case 'Security Guards) grew some testicles and are 'dealing' with these 'hooligans' in the appropriate way, which was cleared by Swedish Police.

Perhaps a positive way to look at this situation is that the child's life was saved from unsafe horseplay. The parents' hands are tied because of Swedish law in regards to 'Childrens' Rights', this might explain why this child is out of control, hence "Spare-The-Rod, Spoil-The-Child" : )
16:28 October 7, 2011 by IWP
Another typical example of fascist sweden in action: where else are non-police officers allowed to handcuff youngsters? Let alone handcuff anyone?
18:27 October 7, 2011 by Archie1954
Yes, we all know that children can be obnoxious but it still bothers me that these spokespersons always say that the officers have done nothing wrong. The kid could be dead and they would still say the same thing. I find the spokepersons to be as obnoxious as the kids.
19:27 October 7, 2011 by tadchem
He doesn't have the good sense to not do something as dangerous as train-hopping. HINT: There are no do-overs if you get run over by a train.

He doesn't have the intelligence to know when to follow instructions.

HINT: The guy with the gun is right, even when he's wrong.

He was clearly a danger to himself and possibly to others.

The Rent-A-Cops did the right thing to keep him alive and uninjured.

Momma should be chastized for raising a stupid kid.
04:56 October 8, 2011 by johann2340
@ scansson

I fully agree with your comment.

These guards maybe saved his life, these children had to be stopped quickly -what they did was very dangerous. Trains can cut you in pieces....

Parents (better say single moms nowadays) should not be always blamed as they cannot do anything to discipline their children - this boy can even claim his 'Children Rights' and demand compensation if his mother dares to lock him up over the weekend at home as punishment for doing such 'wannabe-hooligan' nonsense.

To refer to this 12 y/o boy as 'small child' is wrong. 12 y/o boys and girls are not 'small children' anymore. They understand what they are doing, they can be kept responsible for bad behavior.

To blame for such incidents are all these do-gooders who think, children should not be disciplined and can do whatever they like.
10:24 October 8, 2011 by jeffi_in_denmark
Security was clearly using as gentle a control hold as possible, for as long as possible. If the young JD had not been resisting and had been obeying authority, then (1) a control hold would not have been required and (b) neither would have cuffs. But you have a group of brats (whose parents have just been outted as the I Do Not Know Where My Child Is sorts) who think they are tough using Youtube to justify their breaking of the law (in the first place).

Security looked calm and in control until the brats started to escalate and then yes, they had every reason to put a fast stop to the situation.

I repeat: Security had every right to stop them from doing something illegal and dangerous not only to themselves, but to others as well. The brats knew it was wrong when they did it, they needed to learn cause and effect. Just imagine how people would be complaining about Security if one of those boys had caused an incident that resulted in death and (heaven forbid!) lengthy schedule delays because Security was afraid to do the right thing.
14:09 October 8, 2011 by cogito
#47 "....shameless and incompetent parents...

Yes. Except in this case I see only one parent mentioned, the mother.

Where's Dad?

Where are all the missing Swedish fathers?
21:06 October 8, 2011 by johnoleson
They are no longer wanted or needed. The Swedish government is more than happy to step in, usurp authority, and take over, for the good of the children of course.
13:42 November 7, 2011 by robban70226
He got what he deserved.... Good for the cops
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