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AFGHANISTAN

Three convicted in killing of teen refugee

A 22-year-old man has been sentenced to eleven years in prison for fatally shooting a 16-year-old Afghan asylum seeker in the face at a refugee home in southern Sweden last autumn.

In addition to the shooter, two other men were also convicted for their role in the murder of the teenage boy, who had come to Sweden as an unaccompanied refugee in April 2011.

A 20-year-old man was sentenced to three years in prison for being an accomplice to manslaughter, while a third man, aged 23, received a four year prison sentence after being convicted on the same charge.

The 16-year-old boy was shot on October 15th, 2011 after he unwittingly found himself in the middle of an altercation involving the three men charged for the crime and another resident at the facility, which housed unaccompanied refugee youth.

According to the indictment, the three men originally came to the refugee home to purchase drugs.

When they couldn’t find their supplier, then became upset and threatening, prompting another resident at the facility to try to get them to leave.

A fight ensued in which one of the men attempted to stab the resident in the neck.

The youngster dodged the blow, however, and ran inside the refugee home to arm himself with a broomstick.

As the 22-year-old then aimed his gun at the other resident holding a broomstick, the 16-year-old happened to walk out into the hall at which point he was shot in the face.

He was taken to hospital, but later died from his injuries.

In court, the three suspects argued that the shooting was unintentional and that the shot fired was merely a warning shot which happened to hit the boy in the face.

The Lund District Court was divided in its ruling, with the lead judge arguing that the 22-year-old should have been convicted of manslaughter as it couldn’t be ruled out that the shot was indeed a warning shot.

“But by firing a shot from a gun in a small corridor toward where there were several people, the 22-year-old must have understood that there was a high risk that someone would be killed by the shot,” the court wrote, according to the local Skånska Dagbladet newspaper.

The court also rejected the shooter’s argument that he was acting in self-defence against several of the residents who were allegedly coming at him with various objects that could be used as weapons.

TT/The Local/dl

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CRIME

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.

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