Sweden Democrat wins damages for racist jibes
Rebecca Martin · 21 Oct 2011, 17:23
Published: 21 Oct 2011 17:23 GMT+02:00
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The local Sweden Democrat politician and her daughter were the first members of the tenant-owner's association (bostadsrättsföreningen) with immigrant backgrounds, something the association chairman had difficulty accepting.
“You second-generation immigrants don't know how to live in tenant-owner's association,” the association's head said during an association board meeting, according to the politician's complaint.
On a later occasion, the association chair barged into the politician's yard and threatened to assault the woman's daughter and her daughter's friend, shouting “you bloody foreigners need to get out of here!”
The man also alleged that, since the politician and her family moved into area, it had started to look like a “refugee camp” and threatened to kill the woman's dog.
Following the series of incidents, the politician decided to take the matter to the Swedish Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen – DO).
“I was born in Sweden and this is the first time I've been threatened and discriminated against because of my background and I'm very sad and afraid,” the politician wrote in her complaint.
The ombudsman took up the case, determining that the housing association chairman had likely harassed the woman and her daughter due to their ethnicity.
“It's a human right to have access to safe housing and a condition for being able to participate in society on equal footing. To be subject to such abuses in one's home thus amounts to a serious violation,” Johan Stauffer, an investigator with the ombudsman, said in a statement,
After an investigation by the ombudsman, the association has reached a settlement which stipulates that the politician and her daughter should each receive 90,000 kronor each in damages each and an apology from the chairman.
”It is gratifying that the association has shouldered the responsibility and are apologising to the family,” said Stauffer.