Shopkeeper jailed for ‘torture’ of three teens

A Stockholm shopkeeper has been jailed for two years for locking up three teenage boys in his store's cellar for ten hours, where he mimicked aspects of water boarding on one of them.

The shopkeeper, who was armed with a drill and knives, suspected that the teens were behind two previous break-ins at the store in Årsta, southern Stockholm.

When the trio was in the man’s shop in late January, the shopkeeper managed to capture and detain the teens with the help of three other men. He then took them to the cellar of the shop, where he kept them for ten hours as he tried to force a confession from them.

The boys, aged 14, 15, and 16, feared for their lives during the ordeal. One of them reported that the shopkeeper placed a wet towel over his face and poured a bucket of water over his head.

The court considered the abuse was “close to pure torture”, according to the Mitti newspaper.

On Monday, the shopkeeper was sentenced to two years in prison for kidnapping, aggravated coercion, robbery, and abuse. One of the man’s accomplices was also sentenced to two years and four months, while a third was sentenced to community service. The fourth suspect is awaiting a the verdict of a psychiatric evaluation before he is sentenced.

TT/The Local/og

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Stockholm Pride is a little different this year: here’s what you need to know 

This week marks the beginning of Pride festivities in the Swedish capital. The tickets sold out immediately, for the partly in-person, partly digital events. 

Pride parade 2019
There won't be a Pride parade like the one in 2019 on the streets of Stockholm this year. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

You might have noticed rainbow flags popping up on major buildings in Stockholm, and on buses and trams. Sweden has more Pride festivals per capita than any other country and is the largest Pride celebration in the Nordic region, but the Stockholm event is by far the biggest.  

The Pride Parade, which usually attracts around 50,000 participants in a normal year, will be broadcast digitally from Södra Teatern on August 7th on Stockholm Pride’s website and social media. The two-hour broadcast will be led by tenor and debater Rickard Söderberg.

The two major venues of the festival are Pride House, located this year at the Clarion Hotel Stockholm at Skanstull in Södermalm, and Pride Stage, which is at Södra Teatern near Slussen.

“We are super happy with the layout and think it feels good for us as an organisation to slowly return to normal. There are so many who have longed for it,” chairperson of Stockholm Pride, Vix Herjeryd, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

Tickets are required for all indoor events at Södra Teatern to limit the number of people indoors according to pandemic restrictions. But the entire stage programme will also be streamed on a big screen open air on Mosebacketerassen, which doesn’t require a ticket.  

You can read more about this year’s Pride programme on the Stockholm Pride website (in Swedish).