Police welcome refugees with viral Facebook video

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected] • 11 Sep, 2015 Updated Fri 11 Sep 2015 13:47 CEST
Police welcome refugees with viral Facebook video

A group of Swedish police officers have posted a video on Facebook welcoming newly-arrived refugees to Sweden and wishing them luck in their new country.


The video features nine police officers speaking to the camera in Swedish in separate clips, some of them near famous landmarks in Stockholm, all offering kind words of support.
"Welcome to our beautiful country. We hope that Sweden can help you with whatever help you need. We hope everything turns out alright for you with school, work, housing, or maybe reuniting with your family," says one male police officer kneeling on the grass as he pets his black service dog.
"We're the same, you and I," says another.
"We're equals, with the exact same rights and obligations. You can believe in whatever you want, whichever God you want, express your opinion about whatever you want, marry whoever you want," chimes in a third.
A brief text in English below the video reads: "Hello, we want to especially welcome you who have come to Sweden from another country!" 
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Hello, we want to especially welcome you who have come to Sweden from another country!Hope that we, Sweden, can help you with accommodation, employment, housing, schooling, or maybe to revisit your family!Here you have all the same rights and obligations, you should believe what or which god you want, express your opinion, enjoy and marry whoever you want! It is something that we in Sweden are proud of.For us police it is a matter of helping people in need, regardless of where you come from. Have you escaped from your country, fled to find safety for you and your family, then you should know that we, the police, do our utmost to make you and everyone else who is, in Sweden to feel safe!If you have the desire, feel free to write a few lines about yourself in the comments below, maybe about your journey or anything else you want to share!Again, welcome here!Take good care of yourself!Camilla, Tomas, Fredric, Veronica, Jonas, Martin, Erik, Doctorn & Joel - Police in Sweden

Posted by Doktorn on Thursday, 10 September 2015
Posted on the official police Facebook site on Thursday, the video had been viewed around 250,000 times by early Friday afternoon.
Mikael Ericson, one of the police officers in the video, told news agency AFP the clip was a private initiative undertaken by him and his colleagues, but approved by their superiors.
"We have noticed in our work that many of the people who come here are fleeing oppressive regimes and they've been beaten, oppressed and shot at by police, so of course they're afraid of us when they come here ... they don't trust us, they're terrified," he said.
"This film is a way for us to show them that we are here for everyone."
In the comments field below the Facebook post, many hailed the police initiative but there were several racist remarks as well.
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has also shown refugees a warm welcome. His government announced on Thursday plans for Sweden’s entire public sector to unite to ensure the swift resettlement of the latest influx of refugees.


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