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No, a man was not convicted in Sweden for 'eating bacon'

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No, a man was not convicted in Sweden for 'eating bacon'
File photo not related to the story: Vidar Ruud/TT
11:54 CEST+02:00
A story making headlines in some media outlets claims that a man was convicted in Sweden for 'eating bacon' in front of women wearing veils. But the reality is that the man was charged after insulting them on the grounds of their ethnicity and religion.

The incident, which happened on a commuter train to Stockholm suburb Märsta in 2015, saw a 52-year-old man walk up to a group of three women who were wearing veils, then hold bacon in front of their face and demand that they should eat it.

When the three women changed to different seats, the man followed them. He also said he "hates muslims". Attunda District Court judged that the man's intention was to insult the three passengers on the grounds of their ethnic origin and creed.

According to the court’s judgement, which The Local has seen, the man "held bacon up to their faces, demanded that they eat it, then ate it in front of them. From CCTV evidence from the train it is clear that there was ample seating space in other parts of the train. Despite that, he followed the plaintiffs when they changed place in order to avoid him, and facing them, which is made clear by the CCTV film, continued to eat bacon in front of them".

"At this stage, he stated to the plaintiffs that he 'hates Muslims'. The district court considers his actions make it clear that the purpose was to insult the plaintiffs because of their ethnic origin and creed," the document continues.

Evidence from CCTV footage, witness statements and accounts provided by the three women was used in the case. The man was ordered to pay damages of 5,000 kronor to each of the women, as well as 60 "day-fines" – a type of fine based on the offender's income.

The 52-year-old also stood accused of racial agitation over an incident a year later at a subway station in Stockholm where it was claimed that he said "I hate muslims" and "bloody Arab" ("jävla arab"). The man was acquitted in that case however as it was judged that there was not sufficient proof for a conviction.

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