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DISCRIMINATION

Pub cleared for rejecting ‘Asian looking’ women

A pub in south central Sweden has been cleared of discrimination charges after bouncers denied entry to several women of Asian appearance in what owners claimed was an attempt to cut down on prostitution.

Pub cleared for rejecting 'Asian looking' women

The owners of Harry’s bar in Växjö, as well as six bouncers, had been charged with illegal discrimination after refusing to allow several Asian looking women to enter the establishment in 2012.

“My daughter and I were treated like prostitutes,” 44-year-old Merlita Malmström, one of the women involved in the case, told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

While prosecutors argued that repeatedly denying entry to the women due to their appearance was a clear case of discrmination, the Växjö District Court had a different opinion.

In a decision issued earlier this week, the court ruled Harry’s owners had a “legitimate reason” to stop to women in their efforts to curb suspected prostitution.

Police had information indicating that Asian women in the area were involved in prostitution, the court explained. Thus, denying the women entry had nothing to do with their appearance, but rather with suspicions of prostitution.

“No one was denied for a general reason, rather there were specific people who were denied due to concerns about criminal activity,” Tomas Malm, an attorney who represented some of the bouncers in the case, told the paper.

The court emphasized, however, that there was nothing to indicate the women who were barred from entering Harry’s were involved in prostitution.

The ruling nevertheless came as a shock to Malmström and other women involved in the case.

“I’m very upset. It makes me sick,” she told Aftonbladet.

“It was a traumatic experience. No one should be treated the way they treated us.”

At least one of the women plans to appeal the ruling, the TT news agency reported.

In addition, Sweden’s Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen, DO) is monitoring the case.

TT/The Local/dl

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CRIME

Police in Sweden block Danish extremist’s new demo

Police in western Sweden have rejected an appeal by the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan against a decision to deny him permission for a Koran-burning protest in Borås.

Police in Sweden block Danish extremist's new demo

“Rasmus Paludan has a rhetoric which is intended to create disorder and chaos,” Emelie Kullmyr, the police officer in charge of protecting this year’s General Election in Western Sweden, said in a press release.

“We have seen how the public has been exposed to serious danger and police officers have been injured. The task of the police is to ensure security and we will do that, but all positive forces need to be helped to maintain peace and order.” 

In the press release, the police emphasised the importance of the public’s right to demonstrate and express their opinions freely, but said that the right to hold public demonstrations could still be curtailed in “exceptional cases”. 

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Paludan, who aimed to hold the demonstration on April 29th, can now appeal the police’s decision at the local civil court in Borås. 

He has now applied to hold on May 1st rallies in Uppsala and Stockholm for his far-right party Stram Kurs, or “Hard Line”. 

Koran-burning demonstrations held over the Easter holidays in the cities of Norrköping, Linköping, Malmö, Örebro, and in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby, led to the worst riots Sweden has seen in decades, with 100 police officers injured.

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