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Malmö takes a stand against growing violence

12 Jan 2012, 15:16

Published: 12 Jan 2012 15:16 GMT+01:00

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Thirty shootings in 2011 and five gun related murders in less than six weeks have shaken Malmö to its very core. But the gunning down of 15-year-old Ardiwan was the last straw for many of the locals, making them take to the streets to demand a change and to keep their children safe.

“We don’t have a clue why this happened. I know my son and he was only 15 years old. He was not involved with any criminals so it was not a revenge killing to do with drugs or something else,” Ardiwan’s father Diaa Noman tells The Local just hours after burying his eldest child.

The details of the teenager’s execution-style killing in Rosengård on New Year’s Eve does not make easy reading. At the time of the murder, Ardiwan was with his family, visiting relatives in the area, to ring in 2012.

Late in the evening, while alone on the street, the teen was shot seven times with the final bullet to his head proving fatal. Amidst the din of the traditional New Year’s fireworks, the shooting was barely noticed.

It was only when he was discovered in a pool of his own blood that the alarm was raised. Ardiwan passed away shortly afterwards in hospital.

The grieving family are still at a loss as to why their son was killed.

“We cannot find any answers. Even the police ruled out the issues of criminality because of his age. Our family came to Sweden for the safety here but for more than a year I have felt there has not been enough security in the city,” Noman says.

Ardiwan was laid to rest on Wednesday with his funeral procession passing through the heart of Malmö. Hundreds turned up to show their respect, the second time in the space of a few days that the community mourned the tragedy.

Days earlier a demonstration was staged in the city centre to protest against the recent murders and the flow of illegal weapons into Malmö. More than 40,000 people showed their support for the event on Facebook with an estimated 6,000 showing up to light candles and listen to a speech condemning the latest bouts of violence.  

“We must send the signal that we need a safe city to live in now. Many are scared to go outside and they are getting more afraid every day. Malmö is getting a reputation as a city of violence like the new Chicago - and we cannot let this happen,” one of the event's organizers Niclas Röhr told The Local at the rally.

Organizers went to great lengths to ensure the manifestation was a non-political event with just a solitary jointly written speech read out to the gathered crowd.

However, the rally will be best remembered for the unplanned intervention by a large number of grieving Iraqis who marched chanting ‘Where are the police?’ and urging the country to wake up.

Many also carried placards with an image of a grievously wounded Ardiwan in his hospital bed.

“The murdered child was the same age as my brother and when you see the family crying you can’t help but think that could have been me crying about my brother,” Kosovo born Kosovare Mezini told The Local at the demonstration.

On the night of the rally she had travelled from neighbouring Eslöv to attend the demonstration.

“My parents did not want me to come to the protest but I wanted to show my support. The police aren’t fully aware of what is going on, so they need to build a bridge between the communities.”

Inevitably, the Skåne County police have been criticized and have subsequently been taking measures in the wake of the escalating violence in the area.

On the day of Ardiwan’s funeral, the National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) announced that special enforcements are being dispatched to Malmö from across the country and no expense will be spared to tackle the escalating violence.

Ardiwan’s death was swiftly followed two days later by the murder of a man in his 50’s who was gunned down in broad daylight in the Lindängen suburb.

Five gun related murders in quick succession have brought into focus the flow of illegal weapons into Skåne which has accelerated in the past decade following the opening of the Öresund Bridge which links Sweden with continental Europe.  

“It is a lot easier now for criminals to import illegal items as customs can be avoided. Weapons have become widely available as a result,”other rally organizer Angélica Persson told The Local.

Despite the local protests and new measures proposed by the police, it will all come too late for Ardiwan’s devastated father. At the funeral there were traumatic scenes as Noman attempted to climb into his dead son’s grave.

Hours later the bereaved father received condolences from dozens of mourners at the memorial reception. As is traditional in Iraqi culture, the funeral involves several days of grieving with separate memorials taking place simultaneously for men and women respectively.

As traditional Middle Eastern food and drink was served to the gathered Noman tells The Local how he believes that the existing legislation needs to be revised.

Story continues below…

“This is not just a Swedish problem. It is for all of Europe to combat the amount of illegal weapons available,” he says.

“I don’t regret coming here, as I have had support from this country, but things appear to be heading in the wrong direction due to weak points in the law.”

Noman, whose family are members of the minority Mandaean faith, paid tribute to the largely Muslim Iraqi community in Malmö for their “incredible support.”

A similar level of solidarity will likely need to be shown across all of Malmö if Ardiwan’s death isn’t to be in vain.

Despite the escalating violence in the area over the last few years, the citizens of Malmö have demonstrated to the rest of the country that they will not surrender their city to gun crime and that they are fighting back.

An online petition denouncing the violence has already got over 6,500 signatures and a delegation from Skåne will travel to Stockholm next week to present the document to the Riksdag and to demand that things must change.

Patrick Reilly

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Your comments about this article

17:27 January 12, 2012 by knonwhite
The intention behind most of the shooting incidents is to create panic among the people by the so called gangs which want to control those areas. Once the people gets scared, they will start moving away from those areas. And finally those areas will be fully under their control. It is a game to become majority from minority easily. See what happened in Rosengard area in Malmo? It is now like a foreign territory. No Swedish police or other government officers want to go there or interfere in their activities.. After some years when these armed gangs have enough control over these areas they will start demanding autonomy for these regions and finally demand independence. These things are not new to the world. This is happening in different parts of the the world. Just check the history of some newly created countries... Only Swedish government and police is not able to understand this. If you act now the price paid will be less. But if you decide to wait till the end, then the price paid will be very huge...
17:32 January 12, 2012 by johan rebel
"Even the police ruled out the issues of criminality because of his age."

Huh? What? Say again?

I'm not suggesting that the victim was in any way involved in crime, for all I know he was as innocent as a lamb. But as a generalization, the statement is ridiculous. Crime has never heard of age limits. Even very young children can commit crimes as serious as premeditated murder.

Interesting how the problems in Malmö apparently are the fault of the police, who fail to build bridges, and Riksdagen, whose members can't promulgate proper laws. How about holding the criminals themselves responsible?
19:34 January 12, 2012 by Localer
stop blame the police but them-selves !
22:32 January 12, 2012 by jvtx3232
One thing that could be done to help alleviate much of the violence would be to deport all of the immigrants in and around Malmö back to their countries of origin. Make Sweden more Swedish again.
22:41 January 12, 2012 by blursd
Makes you really long for the days back when Malmö's biggest non-scandinavian population were Jews ... things were crazy back then. Drive by lawyering, and street theoretical physicist fights.
23:49 January 12, 2012 by Chickybee
This violence is imported from a Middle East/Balkan's mentality.

There is notthing racist about this = it's just a rather unpleasant but undeniably true fact.

Sweden has been changed but not for the better - multiculturalism just doesn't work/.

But Sweden just hasn't got the guts to admit it's a crushing failure.
00:21 January 13, 2012 by occassional
Enjoying this then? Hopefully you are, because this is what goody-two-shoes deserve. Self destructive policies and their consequences. And don't for a moment think it will get better. This is the future that Sweden bestowed on its progeny.
08:53 January 13, 2012 by Valdemaratterdag

If you linked the article to Aftonbladet, I believe the Local's robots automatically removes the post as it assumes it's spam being posted.

As to the charges you posted from Aftonbladet, it isn't possible according to the dad because he was only 15 years old and not capable of committing a crime.
09:06 January 13, 2012 by Valdemar Atterdag
Here's the article Google translated from Aftonbladet:

Murdered 15-year-old was investigated for assault

STOCKHOLM. 15-year-old was investigated for assault and unlawful threats.

Four days after the case was closed, he was murdered.

On December 27 Malmö district court formally dismissed the case against 15-year-old - on New Year's night he was shot to death.

The police records are six complaints against him. The case of narcotics, assaulting a police officer, assault and several cases in which he threatened people.

- He was not criminal responsibility when the alleged crimes were committed. Therefore there was no prosecution, said the boy's defender Bo Gülich.

Instead the matter was transferred to the social services.

Homicide detectives do not want to lock up at any particular motive for the murder of 15-year-old.

- But the intention was quite clear that he would die, said reconnaissance leader Bertil Isberg-Jönsson.

Police said the boy was shot with several bullets in the head and upper body.
11:33 January 13, 2012 by Nemesis
I am glad to see that people are starting to demonstrate against the violence in Malmö.

The police, prosecuters, politicians and so called community leaders will not do a thing and most likely the violence suits them, otherwise it would have been stamped out a long time ago.

It is long overdue the people took a stand and i hope they remember there stand at the next election.
12:45 January 13, 2012 by Achilles7
I agree entirely with post #4. Why does Sweden keep letting so many immigrants into it's country? If they had useful skills that could actually benefit the society then it would perhaps be more understandable, but most of them living in Rosengård are unemployed. It's been said by many till their blue in the face: multi-culturalism doesn't work. It leads to conflict, segregation, and hostility. Let's make Sweden more Swedish again.
18:03 January 13, 2012 by Terri
I think it is very sad that, instead of thinking positively and searching for solutions, time is wasted by blaming any and everybody else. Expecting the police, the government - somebody else to do something is also part of the reason for this break down in law and order. If we all began to take responsibility for our children, bringing them up to respect other people, and knowing the difference between right and wrong - regardless of where we came from - then we would be along way along the road towards making our cities safe.
19:00 January 13, 2012 by LongPurple
The 15 year old may have been a murder victim, but he was no "choir-boy".

"Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas."
20:52 January 13, 2012 by Catarin
This is the problem the U.S. is having with its borders with Mexico. Drug and gun smugglers have killed thousands of Mexicans and some Americans. Rivaling smugglers are killing each other and the border has become a nightmare.

I don't think Sweden has any choice but to set up a border check with armed police at the road entrance.
02:18 January 14, 2012 by LongPurple

It's worse than that in the States. The BAFTE was actively helping arm Mexican drug cartels with over 1500 weapons allowed to "walk" across the border.

The explanation they offer is it was a "bungled" attempt to track weapons to the drug lords. In reality, it was carefully planned and executed to give some concrete manufactured "evidence" to support the oft-repeated lie that "lax gun laws" in the US supply Mexican cartels with guns. This in turn, would give Holder and Obama an excuse to call for more "gun control" in the US. They don't care how many innocent lives may be taken to advance their anti-gun agenda.
03:30 January 14, 2012 by Grokh
when people move away from certain neighbourhoods because only one kind of people live there its never good.
13:51 January 14, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
@ Posts 8, 9, 10

Thank you for your investigative reporting.

This once again points to the idiotic laws in Sweden. In a normal democracy, this 15 years old would have been recognized as an adult in terms of the number and severity of the multiple offences he committed, including assaulting a police officer. This was not just some embarassed 15 year old who was caught with a joint and sent to the principal's office.

Accordingly the 15 year old should already have been in jail, to re-think his path in life, and this jail time would have not only have provided the system with an opportunity to turn him around, it would more importantly have kept him off the streets for awhile, which would almost certainly have saved his life.
15:25 January 18, 2012 by Roy E
The irony is that after reading the victim's record, Mälmo might actually see less criminal activity! But that probably won't be the case. Some other punk will step up to fill the void. That's the culture that Sweden's politicians have gifted Sweden with - and one has to admit, it has added diversity, all right!
21:24 January 18, 2012 by Sheila Craig
It is amazing that when these young men are killed they, without fail, have been paragons of virtue. I somehow doubt it.
11:35 January 20, 2012 by David Warren
We have the same situation here in parts of Sydney and Melbourne Australia.

The Muslim enclaves here have violent drug gangs and we have drive by shootings between these groups.

As refugees they dragged along with them their violent primitive cultures.

Up until last year it was not politically correct to identify them as Lebanese or some other ethnic group and the State Government was in total denial but things seemed to have changed in the last 12 months.

Recognition by Police now that these gangs exist is one thing but what to do now that they are so powerful remains a challenge for the Police.
18:18 January 20, 2012 by stablemate
this is so sad what is happening in malmo with the people not native to area...... this rose garden place is a social nightmare . you have these kids with no work ethic unlike there parents. its not the guns the problem i agree the bridge made it worse without full on check point.......sure the cultures are different.....but the differance was suppose to make the people more to get along with each other........those social flats should be moved to the north
21:58 January 21, 2012 by VicTaulic
yeah yeah yeah.....mothers against violence...THAT will sure be effective...same old media garbage...just clean house, Sweden.
17:46 January 22, 2012 by bira
Sweden has been on this path for a while thinking they're immune to violence. The reduction of police of the years just makes it even easier for criminals to be criminals. It IS time for Sweden to wake up!
14:17 January 23, 2012 by lilsocks
Wake up Sweden, you just have to look to the UK to see that multiculturalism does not work! certain ethic backgrounds have no intention of bringing the best of their region/country, instead we get the scum of the earth creating little pocket ghettos that force out the original locals and then they expand like a criminal mould (slowly creeping into every street and building along the way). Why do these people come to such a far away land? if they are refugees then why do they not stay in the first 'safe' country they get to? I read a report recently (believe it was The Guardian UK paper) that stated 80% of Europe's illegal immigrants come via Greece.......why is that? (If true). If we have a ship and we know where the leak is within the hull why can we not fix it before we sink?
14:45 February 8, 2012 by pjtaipale
@2 (johan rebel): spot on. The statement about being clean because of his age is just silly.

It also seems to turn out that it was tragically wrong: the boy was indeed involved in something nasty, although I understand that this is very hard to understand for grieving parents. I symphatize with them, but still I think they are mistaken. You, me, almost any parent would think the same, of course, until confronted by direct evidence, and often not even then (as apparently in this case).

The proposals about turning away all immigrants from some countries is stupid. So is the idea that nice talk and more coordinator jobs will solve this. No. You'll need to have law enforcement that works.
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