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Sweden jails couple for exorcist beating

A Swedish district court on Tuesday jailed a couple from the Democratic Republic of Congo for performing exorcisms on the woman's daughter, whom they considered to be a witch, by threatening and beating her.

Sweden jails couple for exorcist beating

It was the second Congolese couple in less than a month to be sentenced to prison for exorcism-related abuse in the western town of Borås.

A man identifying himself as the father of the victim, but who was later shown to be her uncle, was on Tuesday sentenced to 22 months in prison for aggravated assault, unlawful coercion and for making threats.

The mother was sentenced to eight months behind bars for making threats.

The abuse took place between February 2007 and February 2008 when the girl was ten years old.

She had told police of exorcism sessions where she was held down in bed and threatened with an electric cord, and forced to drink a mixture of detergent and urine. The girl was hospitalized after falling unconscious and vomiting blood.

The defendants, who denied the charges, were also ordered to pay 60,000 kronor ($9,000) in damages to the girl.

On May 14th, a Swedish appeals court jailed another couple from the Democratic Republic of Congo for having performed exorcisms on their daughter.

The girl told the court her arm had been cut with a burning knife to get her to confess her sins, and had her head shaved because “the spirit” was in her hair.

AFP/The Local/dl

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MEDICAL

Woman dies hours after ambulance no-show

A hospital has been reported to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) after it chose against sending an ambulance to a woman with breathing problems who died hours later from blood clotting to her lungs.

Woman dies hours after ambulance no-show

Emergency workers from the Södra Älvsborg Hospital in southern Sweden suspected the patient, who was in her forties, was simply suffering from stomach flu when she called complaining of breathing problems, diarrhoea, and fever.

They chose against picking her up, advising the woman to stay at home, where she died several hours later, shortly after another ambulance arrived.

The coroner’s report showed that the woman died from blood clotting to her lungs, according to the Borås Tidning newspaper, something the nurses couldn’t have known from the woman’s own evaluation.

“It’s a tricky case, very unusual,” Jerker Isacson, chief of medicine at the hospital, told the paper.

The incident occurred earlier in the year when winter flu was in full force, and the emergency workers were overloaded with call outs.

The hospital itself has now reported the incident to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) in accordance with Sweden’s Lex-Maria laws, the informal name for regulations governing the reporting of injuries and incidents in the healthcare system.

“We want it to be evaluated and to investigate ourself how the paramedics acted the first time. We don’t know if it was the right judgment when they were there. The nurses made no obvious mistakes or errors,” Isacson said.

“The patient had good information but we want to be as sure as possible that something similar will not happen again.”

TT/The Local/og

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