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Website touts ruse to turn in illegal immigrants

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08:20 CET+01:00
An anti-immigrant website has urged readers to infiltrate a group focused on helping undocumented immigrants in Sweden in order to turn them over to police.

The campaign by the Sweden Democrat-linked website Avpixlat (literally, "unpixelated", but also a Swedish colloquialism meaning to "reveal" or "unmask"), comes in response to a call for help in finding housing for a family of undocumented immigrants published on Facebook last week by asylum advocacy group Asylgruppen Lund.

The website, launched in October 2011, was registered by Sweden Democrat MP Kent Ekeroth, and contains material which echoes the party's negative line on immigration, multicultural society, and the mainstream Swedish media.

“Right now Asylgruppen Lund is looking for criminals in Sweden who are willing to offer housing to some illegals,” reads a posting on Avpixlat published on January 20th, the day following the Facebook appeal by Asylgruppen Lund.

The anti-immigrant website called on readers to respond to the request by the asylum advocacy group in order to “infiltrate” the organization and gather as much information as possible about the undocumented immigrants in need of housing and then hand the information to police.

According to Avpixlat, the action will ensure that “both the criminals included in the group can be brought to justice and the illegals with whom they are acting as complicit criminals can be turned over to the authorities and kicked out of the country”.

Kenny Källström, a representative from Asylgruppen Lund told Sveriges Television (SVT) that the group had received several fake responses to their request.

“It's an embarrassing attempt to infiltrate us,” he told SVT.

“It's a terrible way to sabotage those of us who are working to help families who have a real need for protection.”

According to Källström, the family referenced in the housing request is from Afghanistan and have had their asylum application rejected and are to be deported.

In a comment to SVT, the editor of Avpixlat, Lennart K, said the site wants to fight against people staying in Sweden illegally.

“We want to stop these illegal activities, which we also see as anti-democratic and detrimental to society,” he said.

While Avpixlat characterizes the housing of rejected asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants as “criminal”, Migration Board (Migrationsverket) spokesperson Johan Rahm told SVT such activities aren't illegal.

“Helping or hiding the undocumented isn't in any way criminal,” he said, adding however that staying in Sweden without a valid residence permit is indeed illegal.

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