Five guilty of hazing at elite Swedish school

A Swedish court on Friday convicted five young men for assaulting a younger student in a high-profile hazing case that took place at the same prestigious Swedish boarding school once attended by King Carl XVI Gustaf.

Five guilty of hazing at elite Swedish school

The five teens were found guilty of assault and sentenced to community service for the bullying of a 17-year-old student at the Sigtuna Humanistiska läroverk (SSHL) boarding school north of Stockholm.

“The punishment for the defendants is a suspended sentence and community service. They must pay damages to the victim to a total of 28,600 kronor ($4,460) for abuse causing pain and suffering,” wrote judge Mikael Swahn in a statement.

While the court found the young men guilty of violence against the 17-year-old, the penalty was relatively light

While prosecutors had sought a conviction for aggravated assault, the court argued that since “the violence was not so severe and the injuries were short lived”, the former students should only be found guilty of assault.

In one of the violent incidents, the victim recounted that he was forced to his knees and made and catch cheeseballs in his mouth thrown by the other students. If he failed, he was kicked or punched by his classmates.

The five men, four of whom are aged 19 and one of whom is 20, were sentenced to between 75 and 160 hours of community service, depending on their involvement in the abuse.

Prosecutor Yngve Rydberg was satisfied with the decision, but had aimed for a sentence of one year in prison.

“I think this sentence should give school officials the courage to be able to speak out when things like this are happening,” he told the TT news agency.

Late in 2011, Sweden’s Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen) slammed all three of Sweden’s boarding schools – Sigtuna, Gränna and Lundsberg – over the schools’ policies and attitudes toward hazing.

The agency has demanded the schools show what they’re doing to combat hazing.

Sigtuna Humanistiska läroverk was formed in 1980 through a merger of Sigtunastiftelsens Humanistiska Läroverk and Sigtunaskolan and currently has an enrollment of about 580 students, two thirds of whom live at the school.

In addition to the King, the elite school was also attended by well-known Swedes such as Olof Palme, banking executive Annika Falkengren, as well as members of the Wallenberg family.

TT/The Local/og

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Half of Viking city of Sigtuna were immigrants: study

No fewer than half the population of the Viking town of Sigtuna were immigrants, a new genetic analysis of human remains from the 10th to the 12th century has discovered.

Half of Viking city of Sigtuna were immigrants: study
An 11th century skeleton found in Sigtuna. Photo: Stockholm University
While rough half of the 38 people whose bones and teeth were genetically tested grew up in or around the nearby Lake Mälaren area, the other half came from as far away as Ukraine, Lithuania, northern Germany, the British Isles, and parts of central Europe, as well as from southern Sweden, Norway and Denmark. 
“It was a sort of Viking Age Scandinavian Shanghai or London,” Anders Götherström, Professor of Molecular Archeology at Stockholm University, told the TT newswire. “Anyone who wanted to do something, to work their way up in the church or in politics were first forced to come to Sigtuna.” 
Now a picturesque lakeside town with a well-known private boarding school, Sigtuna was one of Sweden’s first cities, founded in 980AD by the country’s first Christian king Olof Skötkonung. 
It soon grew into a major settlement of around 10,000 people, roughly the same population as Anglo-Saxon London. 
The study, the largest of its kind so far carried out in Sweden, combined DNA analysis and strontium analysis of teeth to build a detailed picture of where the people had come from. 
The results have been published in an article in Current Biology,  Genomic and Strontium Isotope Variation Reveal Immigration Patterns in a Viking Age Town
Maja Krzewinska, the researcher at Stockholm University who was the study's primary author, said that it showed that Vikings had not only been emigrants and invaders. 
“We're used to thinking of the Vikings as a travelling kind, and can easily picture the school books with maps and arrows pointing out from Scandinavia, as far as Turkey and America, but not so much in the other direction,” she said in a press release issued by the university. 
The project is part of the ATLAS-project which plans to use ‘deep-sequence analysis’ to shine light on the demographic history of Sweden. 
“I especially like that we find second-generation immigrants among the buried,” Götherström, one of the project’s leaders, said in the release. “That kind of migratory information has never been encountered before as far as I know.” 
The study found that approximately 70 per cent of the female population were immigrants, and about 44 per cent of the men.
Götherström told TT that the Atlas project underlined the fact that, genetically, there was no such thing as an ethnic Swede. 
“The Swede doesn't exist genetically,” he said, “We've pieced ourselves together from parts taken from the whole world, and the more we study this genetically, the more we see that people have been moving around the place the whole time.”