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Guards investigated after child 'assault' in Malmö

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Guards investigated after child 'assault' in Malmö
Malmö train station where the alleged attack took place. Photo: Werner Nystran/Image Bank Sweden
18:57 CET+01:00
UPDATED: Two security guards at Malmö's main train station who were filmed apparently banging a nine-year-old boy’s head into a stone floor are being investigated by police.

In the video, published by local newspaper Sydsvenskan, a guard is seen pushing the boy onto the ground, sitting on him and holding his hands over his mouth. The boy can be heard reciting the Islamic prayer the Shahada ('There is only one God, and Muhammad is his Prophet').

“It didn’t seem like the boy was doing anything. But the guard just threw him to the floor. He [the guard] looked like he weighed 90 kilos, but he just sat on him and hit his head against the ground,” a witness told Sydsvenskan on Monday.

The guard, employed by security company Svensk Bevakningstjänst, had detained the boy and his 12-year-old friend after they were thrown off a train for travelling without a ticket. 

On Tuesday, police said that they were investigating the two guards following twelve complaints about the guards.

"They are suspected of assault and will be questioned on that matter," Linda Pleym, a spokesperson for Skåne police told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.


A video of the incident (from Sydsvenskan)

Svensk Bevakningstjänsten’s CEO, Anders Lönnebo, admitted on Monday that the incident “didn’t look good on camera”. The guards “had been asked by the police to hold them there when they got off the train. Which is what we did," he said.

In Sydsvenskan’s video, only the guard and the boy are identifiable. But Lönnebo said he had seen another film of the incident in which police were also visible at the scene:

“Police reports have been made against both sides. Our guards have been kicked and bitten,” he added.

The security company is contracted by station owner Jernhusen. Cecilia Granath, spokeswoman for Jernhusen, said her company had been in contact with the security firm since the incident came to light.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy towards excessive violence,” she told The Local on Monday.

“Clearly this looks very unpleasant on video, but right now we have too little information to draw a conclusion. However, we have a very good partnership with the security company. It is carrying out an internal investigation and we will await its findings.”

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