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'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme

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'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme
Photo: Lars-Göran Thuresson/Älgriket
08:23 CEST+02:00
The Swedish hunting association runs a project to encourage young asylum-seekers to learn about hunting, a move which has proved controversial among some far right groups.
  

"These young people have no connection to life in the Swedish outdoors and how we look at nature, such as the right of public access. Many come from countries where it is plain dangerous to be out in the nature," said Magnus Rydholm at the Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management (Svenska Jägareförbundet).

The project has been running for six years and has never been more more popular with some 200-300 young people participating in events organized by the association across the country in 2014. 

The final event of 2014 was organized in Borlänge in central Sweden to coincide with the annual elk hunt. Some 

The project has however proved controversial in recent years and a former project manager has been threatened after having spoken about the scheme in the media.

"There are some dark forces who don't think the same way we do, unfortunately. But our values ​​are: openness, respect and responsibility. We welcome everyone, regardless of background or religion. We work with these issues and are not about to back down in the face of those who think differently," Rydholm said.

Iglas Haji is one of the young people who participated in Borlänge and was positive about the experience, especially learning about Sweden's flora and fauna.

"I think it's really fun and exciting," she told broadcaster P4 Dalarna.

Hunting is a popular sport in Sweden with some 300,000 licensed hunters. Foreign hunters are welcomed in the country subject to the required permits and insurance.

 

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