• Sweden's news in English

Bus passengers 'divided according to skin colour'

The Local · 25 Mar 2013, 16:01

Published: 23 Mar 2013 10:52 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Mar 2013 16:01 GMT+01:00

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The divisions reportedly happened on several occasions on Wednesday and Thursday at Stockholm's City terminal (Cityterminalen), reported newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) on Saturday.

The bus passengers were travelling to catch the ferry to the Finnish archipelago island of Åland.

"It was a very unpleasant experience...It felt like we were on our way to Arlanda Airport to be deported from Sweden," one of the passengers, Samer Chatila, told DN.

Chatila, who was born in Sweden, is currently studying mechanical engineering on Åland. He was travelling there with his brother Ahmad and a friend when the three noticed that the bus driver appeared to be dividing passengers based on their looks.

The driver stood between the exit and the bus and pointed the three to one of the buses, following them to make sure they got on board.

At first they thought the driver was being friendly, but they soon began to suspect that something else was going on.

They noticed that all "Swedish-looking" passengers were being directed to a different bus, while everyone who boarded their bus was foreign-looking or dark-skinned.

"We felt insulted, offended and discriminated against," said Chatila.

"I never thought this could happen in our Sweden."

When they challenged the driver, they were told that if they did not like the system they could get off the bus.

The driver claimed that the bus that the three friends were on was a direct route for passengers who had booked their trip in advance, while the other bus would make several stops to pick up more passengers.

But the driver did not check their tickets, Samer and Ahmad had not pre-booked, and both buses stopped to pick up passengers.

The Stockholm-Grisslehamn bus route is operated by People Travel Group on behalf of Eckerölinjen.

The company received several complaints and on Thursday evening, the director, Tomas Karlsson, learned of the alleged incidents.

Story continues below…

"I immediately contacted the head of operations at People Travel Group who took the driver off the route," Karlsson said.

"It seems like this was a single driver's decision and it only happened twice, but that is bad enough."

In response, the company is introducing new training for staff starting on Monday, when the driver is expected to appear in front of the company board to explain his actions.

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Your comments about this article

11:54 March 23, 2013 by grandmary
I just don't believe it. Yesterday the Local put up some story about a young immigrant so was suppposedly threatening to jump out a window and was told by an ambulance driver to go ahead and do it. Then readers wrote in with a number of inconsitencies and contradictions in the story as reported, so the Local's reaction was to remove the comments section and keep the story posted. That's unprofessional and unethical. So, when the Local comes up with more of these stories I just can't believe their reporting.
12:06 March 23, 2013 by skogsbo
There is always a danger here that you will read an out of context, poorly translated sound bite, pinch of salt required will ALL news, on ALL websites.
12:32 March 23, 2013 by TG22
And there we go again... This is getting boring... These poor foreigners/ evil Swedish mambo-jambo is already getting old...
12:35 March 23, 2013 by EmployedProfessional
I think the driver should be sent in front of a firing squad(read that termination squad) and sent directly to unemployment!

As I said before,it's time for swedes of foreign origin to stand up and save their homeland from these small minded individuals.
13:39 March 23, 2013 by wakak
This once again proves that it is OK to be racist in Sweden. I lived it myself: my white skin and universities studies did not save me from the scorn of Swedish people. My sin was just that I was not Swedish...
14:03 March 23, 2013 by bcterry
They should have just walked past the driver right on into the other bus, and if he pressed the issue, tell him to fxxx off.
14:19 March 23, 2013 by Really
it is really getting worse here in Sweden but we always cross fingers and say that there are sick people BUT good people are there also
14:27 March 23, 2013 by Children Of Adam
Maybe the driver is member of Sverige democrat racist party.
15:05 March 23, 2013 by Iri
Earlier this March I was coming through an International Airlines having more than 70 percent of Swedes. At Arlanda airport after passing/clearing by the immigration and scanning machines we were heading towards the airport Terminal 5 to take the buss/ train for city center. I was about near to exit gate and meanwhile near the exit gate in the corridor some personnel wearing Customs uniforms stopped me and asked me to check your luggage in a room nearby.

When I entered that room and opened my luggage. I also noticed that other people who were in that room were looking like from the other regions and ethnicity(Indian,Chinese, Africans etc), and all the people who were travelling with us with the Swedish look were passed without checking their luggage.........
15:45 March 23, 2013 by Khazara
The bus driver wanted to feel (emphasis) powerful. He has been told passively that white people are supposed to be nasty and inconsiderate towards people of color. However, for him to go out of his way (instead of just driving the bus) to behave this way shows he has the same underlying problem that the Immigration Minster has, that many "Swedes" have, a disconnect with reality.
15:58 March 23, 2013 by oldgreygoose
There have been so many stories like this lately, yet usually when they are investigated further it turns out to be exagerated or completely made up. I think the media is looking uinder every rock for a story to make Swedes look racist when everybody know they are just about he most tolerant country there is. I can't believe how generous the people and the government are and I can't believe how many people come here from really bad places and then complain.
16:21 March 23, 2013 by bolababu
All you Swedes who come here whining about how The Local is "Immigrant friendly", what do you expect? its a translated website for immigrants, not for the "blond and blue-eyed", ..get off your fake wheel-chairs and sick-pensions and go get a life or at least a job, real Swedes buy newspapers and read in Swedish, not on translated sites like this one. I personally think the local is doing an outstanding job of telling what exactly the society really is instead of trying to kiss butts. It won't always be your "self-entitled" self who gets pleased, get used to that.
16:27 March 23, 2013 by Khazara
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:31 March 23, 2013 by bolababu
All you Swedes who come here whining about how The Local is "Immigrant friendly", what do you expect? its a translated website for immigrants, not for the "blond and blue-eyed", ..get off your fake wheel-chairs and sick-pensions and go get a life or at least a job, real Swedes buy newspapers and read in Swedish, not on translated sites like this one. I personally think the local is doing an outstanding job of telling what exactly the society really is instead of trying to kiss butts. It won't always be your "self-entitled" self who gets pleased, get used to that.
18:29 March 23, 2013 by RobinHood
The Local has taken to disabling comments that question its jounalists integrity/competence when it covers stories like this.

It is getting very difficult to trust The Local as a source of news, and easier to think of The Local as a source of propaganda.

What a shame.
21:03 March 23, 2013 by biliousbob

I have noticed this and agree. You are generous to call them journamlists. I think they are probably interns who act as translators. And thy're mediocre translators on a good day.
21:14 March 23, 2013 by Pasty White Baby
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
23:30 March 23, 2013 by krattan
The driver has been quoted in other news media (for example svd.se) as having divided people by imported goods. Apparently there are regulars going to Åland (or perhaps from Åland) to buy snuff.. And these guys would have to go through the toll hence they were placed in another bus.

All this boils down to bad communication and one person feeling differentiated.

I feel sorry for all the people over reacting above. And also for the driver..
00:25 March 24, 2013 by oldgreygoose
As I indicated above, this story never sounded legit and it wasn't. I'm sure this won't stop the Local from putting up more inflamatory garbage tomorrow.
02:40 March 24, 2013 by Elf_Moon
@Bolababu, racism is a two way street honey.

I will leave the site I guess, being a blonde haired blue eyed immigrant...

Also, before commenting on racism, take a look in the mirror as you type.

This story is obviously not a real piece of reporting, just another piece of propaganda *yawn*
09:34 March 24, 2013 by robban70226
It is the true nation of Sweden, sorry for the fools that believe Swedes are an open society, never being and will never be...
12:08 March 24, 2013 by Khazara
@ krattan - wrong

1) They were coming from the Åland (I admit the prepositions in Swedish make no sense)

2) It has nothing to do with paying a VAT for snus purchased in Åland; small place anyway, snus would be a lot more expensive there, supposedly gangs traffic snus? (what a joke)

3) The driver stated to D.N.se that he separated people onto two busses: those who had luggage were place on one bus; and those who did not have luggage were place on the second bus. However, during the drive the two busses picked people up randomly

4) Indeed, the driver told Samer Chatila (the young man who complained) that the busses were divided between those who had pre-booked their tickets and those who had not. Samer was supposedly on the pre-booked ticket bus but he did not pre-book his tickets - and both busses still picked up passengers randomly during the drive.

So the driver was actually on Snus patrol? Ha! What a liar. I imagine someone from his union helped him make up that lie since by his actions alone he is pretty stupid. Furthermore, the excuse is disingenuous since no other Bus driver for the company separates passengers for the reasons he stated nor is it the companies protocol.

In conclusion: fire the racist bus driver, fine the company, give a refund and apologize to the passengers that were subjected to the now unemployed bus driver power trip.
15:22 March 24, 2013 by ctinej
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:28 March 24, 2013 by JoshArnold
nice knowing you Sweden.... but now its time that you find some one else who can pay 150000 SEK as tax every year and still put up with such narrow minded morons who hate you because you were born with a certain skin color .... i still think that most of the swedish people are quite nice ... however its the oposite end of the pole is a bit too much for me to handle ..... I am not sure if I would want to work for this country any more
16:25 March 24, 2013 by krattan

The Snuff story is from this Expressen article:


Seems legit to me.
17:30 March 24, 2013 by Nomark

2) It has nothing to do with paying a VAT for snus purchased in Åland; small place anyway, snus would be a lot more expensive there, supposedly gangs traffic snus? (what a joke)

Swedes go to Åland to buy things which are cheaper there (owing to lower duties). Its a part of a different country. The fact that the island is small is irrelevant.

Gangs in the UK traffic cigarettes into the country on the cross-channel ferries. This type of thing is not unusual.

Your research and reasoning has let you down. Please, learn to research facts before you denounce somebody.
18:30 March 24, 2013 by Migga
@ krattan

You are totally right. That`s how it really happend. It`s sad to see the hatefull comments by some readers on this article about Sweden and Swedes. Khazara especially. All from a made up story by the media.

The driver divided the passengers, but not based on ethnicity. One immigrant felt otherwise and started screaming discrimination. Somehow the most leftist newspaper in Sweden, Arbetarbladet, got a hold of this guy and ran the story with the racism angle. They didn`t bother to check if the claims were true or talk to the driver. Disgusting but typical for the leftist media. The other newspapers, including The Local, jumps on the bandwagon and use the big headlines.

Now when people are looking in to it they see that it didn`t happen as the media reported. It`s becoming a none story in a hurry. Just like the previous one with the ambulance driver where the Local had to shut down the comment section because their error was becoming clear. Now in this case the driver is labeld a racist and the mediafrenzy has lead to having an impact on his job. It makes one sick to think how the leftist media ruins peoples lives.
19:35 March 24, 2013 by Khazara
Well look at everyone (certain people; wink wink) lying to themselves. The Bus Company, yes the bus company has stated in a video interview that the bus driver separated the passengers based on their color (melanin).

Guess who made that statement? The CEO of the bus company; the truth is not practiced by a certain people (emphasis) but denial sure is.

http://www.expressen.se/tv/nyheter/inrikes/busspassagerar-sorterades-efter-etniskt-ursprung/kin color.

Nomark - If your last comment is what you consider sound reasoning then I can't even imagine what type of twisted reality you live in.
20:31 March 24, 2013 by Nomark

I'm confused. First you write that it couldn't possibly be due to snus purchases. This is nonsense. Tax free purchases are one of the reasons Swedes visit the island !

Then you give us a link to an interview with the boss of the bus company which supposedly clinches your argument. Did you actually listen to the interview ? He said that, *according to the information he so far has*, passengers were allocated to buses according to their ethnic origin. Information from which source - driver or media ? He also said that there would be a meeting with the driver on Monday to find out what happened and take his side of the story. Therefore its quite hard to see how he is the clinching source you think he is.

Racism is a nasty thing. So is labelling people before they've defended themselves or the facts are fully out.

People like you are as much part of the problem as the racists.
23:21 March 24, 2013 by Migga

Did you even watch the video? The CEO said that they are going to investigate and that they will speak to the driver on Monday, tomorrow, about him diving the passengers. He has no idea about the reason or what happend. That`s why he wants to do an investigation and met the driver to find out. If he already knew it was racism then he would have thrown the driver under the bus by now. But he doesn`t so he hasn`t. For you to comment in the way you do and act as if you already have the answers about the case when not even the CEO of the company does show that you are on thin ice. You are on some hatedriven quest to bash anything swedish or white that you jump on any leftist mediamade story to promote your hate.
08:31 March 25, 2013 by RobinHood
This matter has not been investigated at all. The bus driver has not even been interviewed by his employer. The only evidence presented so far, is the statement from a disgruntled passenger.

Yet, The Local and other press have presented this matter to us as a done deal. Scroll up and look at the headline. This story is now being regurgitated by media across the world as fact.

Believe it or not, libel is a crime in Sweden. I hope The Local's headline stands up, because if it doesn't .....

Is this really the best the media can do? Half baked stories based on entirely on a single source, lazy, unprofessional, non-researched, deliberately deceptive, insulting to its readers intelligence, possibly libelous and possibly criminal.
10:25 March 25, 2013 by Migga
@ RobinHood

It`s sickening and disgusting to see the way "professional" media is acting. It`s possible that the way they have acted is all those things that you have listed. Then you think about who`s at the end of all of this and realise it`s a person who`s now been labeld a racist and has had it interfer with his job. That`s when you want to hurl.
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