Festival sex assaults

Swede’s fury at Daily Mail’s Bråvalla ‘lies’

Swede's fury at Daily Mail's Bråvalla 'lies'
The Daily Mail this week ran a report on the spate of sexual assaults at last weekend’s Bråvella festival. Photo: TT
Lisen Andréasson Florman, the founder of the nonprofit organization Nattskiftet (the Night Shift), has accused British tabloid the Daily Mail of "violating" her after publishing an interview with her that was “filled with lies.”

The Daily Mail, renowned for its hard-right, anti-immigration stance, this week ran a report on the spate of sexual assaults at last weekend’s Bråvella festival.

In the report the newspaper’s Swedish stringer, Ulf Andersson, claimed that Florman had told him that she’d been sexually assaulted. The paper also ran pictures from Florman’s Facebook page.

Florman’s response was immediate and angry.

“The newspaper has deliberately distorted my quotes, stolen my private photos and lied,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

“Despite what you might have read, I was not a victim of sexual assault. However, I was violated by one of the largest newspapers in Europe. It was an assault in the form of an article, which has since been spread by other media outlets.”

“It is a story about violence against women during Swedish music festivals: an issue which I, as founder and head of the volunteering organization Nattskiftet (the Night Shift), has worked with for years.”

“In this news story, I am portrayed as a victim of sexual violence at Bråvalla. That is false. I was not sexually assaulted.

“I was confronted by a group of young men who were threatening me because they recognized me and because they disapprove of my taking a stand. No one groped my breasts, despite what the Daily Mail claims in both headline and story.”

“The Daily Mail has published a piece of sensationalist writing, filled with lies and completely devoid of fact-checking.” 

“The newspaper has deliberately distorted my quotes, stolen private photos, and lied. All in order to confirm a story that serves an agenda that isn’t mine, and to tell a story that isn’t true.”

Florman also accused the Daily Mail of promoting intolerance.

“Hardly surprisingly, the Daily Mail accentuated all of this with a statement by local police that the assaults at the music festival Putte i Parken were committed by unaccompanied minor refugees. A statement that had already been both disproven and withdrawn.”

The Daily Mail has since removed any reference to Florman from their website but The Sun and Daily Star, newspapers which also ran the story, have not.

In February, the Swedish Embassy in London complained that the Daily Mail was running a campaign against Sweden's refugee policy.

“Sweden is being used as a deterrent and an argument against allowing more refugees into the UK,” said the embassy in a report to the Swedish Foreign Ministry.

A report in 2014 found that the Daily Mail topped the league table of complaints received by the UK’s Press Complaints Commission against national and Sunday newspapers with 36.4% of the total, followed by the Sun with 19.1%.

The Local tried to reach the Daily Mail journalist, Ulf Andersson, for a comment but were unable to contact him.