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STABBING

Eight years for brother who fatally stabbed sister

The 17-year-old boy from southern Sweden who stabbed his sister to death in April was sentenced to eight years in prison on Tuesday for what the court referred to as an "honour killing".

The boy, who was 16 at the time of the attack, killed his 19-year-old sister in her apartment in Landskrona.

“This is an incredibly harsh sentence. My client is in shock,” the teen’s defence lawyer, Urban Jansson, told the TT news agency.

She was stabbed over 100 times with two different knives and a pair of scissors.

The boy had blamed the attack on a masked man, however the Lund District Court found the claims to be unsubstantiated and inconsistent.

The murder was “among the most serious cases of murder that can be committed” according to the court.

As the boy was only days away from his 17th birthday at the time of the attack, the judge decided to punish him as a 17-year-old rather than as a 16-year-old, altering the sentence therefore from four years to eight years in prison.

A psychiatric evaluation found no reason to place the teen in psychiatric care.

The sister had previously claimed she was forcibly married off at age 15 and raped.

In the months before her death, the 19-year-old had been speaking with the women’s support group Tänk Om (‘Think Again’), which works to combat honour violence. They had given her shelter and recorded her claims of abuse.

TT/The Local/og

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AFGHANISTAN

Three prosecuted in Sweden’s first forced marriage charge

Three men have been charged in southern Sweden for forcing a 23-year-old woman to marry a man in Afghanistan - after abducting her boyfriend in Sweden.

Three prosecuted in Sweden’s first forced marriage charge
Prosecutor Kristina Ehrenborg-Staffas in 2012. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

The woman’s father and two other men are accused of carrying out a series of crimes against her 21-year-old boyfriend in Lund. The indictment says they abducted, assaulted, robbed, extorted and sexually harassed him in November 2015. 

On the same night as the alleged abduction, the woman’s father is accused of making illegal threats that involved pushing her into a marriage against her will.

“This is Sweden’s first forced marriage indictment as far as I know,” prosecutor Ulrika Engwall told news agency TT, adding that she believed all of the alleged crimes were honour-related. 

Two of the suspects, the woman’s father and a close friend of his, are being held in custody. The third remains at large. 

“The woman did not comply with what the family thought and continued the relationship [with the 21-year-old] after she was married off,” said Engwall. 

Johan Sjöström, a lawyer representing the woman’s father, said his client rejected all of the allegations against him and insisted that his daughter had agreed to the marriage. 

Sweden enacted a new law to combat forced marriage in July 2014. Despite a number of reports being filed, this is the first case to result in an indictment. 

The Prosecution Authority's development centre in Gothenburg has examined the earlier preliminary investigations to see why they were dropped. 

“We’ve been tasked by the government with finding out why there haven’t been any previous indictments,” said prosecutor Kristina Ehrenborg-Staffas.

“The nature of the crime means that there are often difficulties with evidence. Often prosceutors only have the girl’s version to go on.There’s a lack of witnesses willing to talk and opinion is often divided on whether a marriage has taken place,” she said. 

Forced marriages were already illegal in Sweden prior to 2014 but were treated as part of a broader category of coercion crimes. The new law also criminalized a broader range of offences.

Anyone found guilty of forced marriage can be jailed for up to four years. 

People convicted of tricking a victim into travelling abroad to be married off against their will can face two years in prison.