Thousands run for Swedish murder victim

Thousands of people have taken to to running tracks across Sweden in a show of solidarity after a young woman was found murdered in a recreational area in Upplands Väsby north of Stockholm.

Thousands run for Swedish murder victim
Thousands took part in a running campaign. Photo: Ulrika Säfström Sunnerfelt

The initiative was launched after a woman was found dead on a running track in Upplands Väsby last week – to show defiance in the face of fear after police branded her death suspicious and advised residents in the area to be careful when out running on their own.

“We're reclaiming the right to be able to run without being afraid,” Ulrika Säfström Sunnerfelt, one of the organizers behind the campaign, told Swedish newswire TT.

Around 20,000 people had joined the Facebook event saying they would go for a run on Sunday. Säfström Sunnerfelt herself ran around the Rocklunda trail in Västerås, some 80 kilometres from Upplands Väsby, together with around 70 people from all ages.

“It feels tragic that this is even needed. But I am incredibly happy that so many have chosen to be here to show that everyone has the right to move around freely in society,” she said.

And in Upplands Väsby around a hundred runners gathered to take part on Sunday in memory of the suspected murder victim, who lived in the town in central Sweden.

“Everyone I meet on the trail always ask me how I can be running alone, but I refuse to let myself be affected. It feels like we're honouring her by doing this together,” orienteering enthusiast Amanda Jonasson, 25, told the Aftonbladet tabloid.

Många hade sökt sig till Runbyspåret i Upplands Väsby kl 18.00. Så fint #SpringaMedKärlek (Foto: K Eidenbrant)

— Spring Med Kärlek (@SpringMedKarlek) August 9, 2015

The campaign, called 'Run With Love' ('Spring med kärlek') was organized after a 21-year-old woman was found dead at 2.05am on Thursday morning in the Runby area of the Stockholm suburb of Upplands Väsby by dog handlers.

Her family had reported her missing at 9.30pm on Wednesday when she did not come home after a short jog.

Meanwhile, police are still investigating the suspected murder. No arrests had yet been made as of Monday morning.

“We're continuing to work unabated, checking information received and awaiting answers to the forensic investigation,” said Stockholm police spokeswoman Eva Nilsson.


Swedish terror attacker sentenced to forced psychiatric care

A court has sentenced the far-right extremist Theodor Engström to forced psychiatric care for the knife attack he carried out at the Almedalen political festival this summer.

Swedish terror attacker sentenced to forced psychiatric care

The Gotland district court found the 33-year-old Engström guilty of murdering the psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren, but did not agree that the murder counted as a terror attack.

It did find him guilty, however, of “planning a terror attack”, for his preparations to murder the Centre Party’s leader, Annie Lööf. 

“The murdered woman had a significant role [in society], a murder is always serious, and this had consequences both for Almedalen Week and for society more broadly,” the judge Per Sundberg, said at a press conference. 

The judge Per Sundberg announces the sentence on Theodor Engström on December 6th. Photo: Karl Melander/TT

But he said that the court judged that Sweden’s terror legislation was too restrictively drafted for her murder to count as a terror offence. 

“Despite Ing-Marie Wieselgren’s well-attested position within psychiatry, the court considers that her position as national coordinator at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions is not such that her murder can in itself be considered to have damaged Sweden. The act cannot as a result be classified as a terrorist crime on those grounds.” 

The court ruled that Engström’s crimes deserved Sweden’s most severe sentence, a life sentence in prison, but found that due to his disturbed mental state he should instead receive “psychiatric care with a special test for release”. 

Lööf wrote on Instagram that the judgement was “a relief”. 

“For me personally, it was a relief when the judgement came,” she wrote. “Engström has also been judged guilty of ‘preparation for a terror attack through preparation for murder’. This means that the the court is taking the threat towards democracy and towards politicians as extremely serious.”

The fact that the court has decided that Engström’s care should have a “special test for release” means that he cannot be discharged from the closed psychiatric hospital or ward where he is treated without a court decision. 

The court must rule both that the mental disorder that led to the crime has abated to the extent that there is no risk of further crimes, and that he has no other mental disorders that might require compulsory psychiatric care. The care has to be reassessed every six months.