A police officer called Ahad Nobakht a “fucking Arab” as he was taken away by police after an altercation at an asylum centre in Emmaboda around noon on Tuesday. The conversation, which was first reported by the regional Barometern newspaper, was captured on audio.
Nobakht, who works at a different home for child refugees, was refused entry to the Hotell Amigo refugee accommodation. He does not live at the centre but has previously criticized its operations.
He claims he was there to meet friends but trouble broke out when he tried to enter the premises.
Fifteen security guards and ten police units were called to the centre in the ensuing tumult.
“It was a circus, so many police cars all coming for me. I am not a criminal,” Nobakht told The Local.
Six weeks ago he was hailed as a hero after putting out a fire at his workplace, but on Tuesday he says he was manhandled as he was pushed into a police car and driven away from the scene.
The police units were called after reports of the commotion, with residents inside the home also involved, acting regional police chief Per Olof Söyseth told The Local. It was the third incident in four days at the centre.
What happened next is now the subject of an internal police investigation.
Nobakht claims he was struck with a blunt object at one point, leaving him needing hospital care.
“They even pulled their guns out and were laughing at me,” he said.
In the car, he recorded the conversation. A police officer can be heard suggesting Nobakht will be dropped at the side of the road and left to walk home. He pleads with the police to drive him home.
“I’m not going to fucking drive you. I’m going to give you a proper beating,” an officer is heard to say.
Nobakht then assures the officer that he likes the Swedish police. The officer replies:
“I don’t like your kind. Get out. I’m going to tear you out.”
Moments later the officer calls him a “fucking Arab” and adds: “Go home to your own fucking country.”
Nobakht, originally from Azerbaijan, then tells the officer that he is not, in fact, an Arab. He says he was then dropped off in the middle of the woods, and spent the next hour and a half in hiding out of fear.
The police have launched an internal investigation, said police chief Söyseth.
“A decision was made this afternoon to take the officer in question off patrol duty. He will work at a desk while the investigation is ongoing.”
He could not say how long the investigation would take, “but I’m guessing it will be given priority because of the seriousness of the allegations”.
The officer is suspected of assault, and of issuing threats and insults.
Allegations of police racism previously sparked nationwide debate when officers in Malmö were caught on video making ethnic slurs in the city's Rosengård district, which is home to a high concentration of immigrants.