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Swedish police make arrests prior to Gothenburg Nazi demonstration

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Riot police in Gothenburg. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT
11:35 CEST+02:00
Three people have been arrested and several others detained by police in Gothenburg prior to a neo-Nazi demonstration in the city Saturday.

Two foreign citizens were arrested at Gothenburg’s Landvetter Airport on Friday night after knives were found in their luggage. The two were arrested on suspicion of planning assault, the Swedish police confirmed in a message posted on its website.

A further seven foreign nationals have been taken into custody and a third person was arrested at Gothenburg Central Station, also on suspicion of planning violent acts, reports news agency TT.

Police have also taken action in other parts of Sweden in connection with the demonstration due to be held by the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR) in Gothenburg on Saturday.

In Helsingborg, a foreign citizen was arrested on board a bus after hitting a policeman in the face.

Nine foreign nationals have been detained and one ejected from the country under Sweden’s Foreign Citizens Law (Utlänningslagen) provision for foreign nationals, according to the report.

Gothenburg city centre is expected to be particularly busy on Saturday due to several other events taking place, including the annual Book Fair and a football match, and its timing as the first Saturday after pay day.

The march also coincides with the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur – a day of atonement observed by fasting and praying – and the route was initially planned to pass close to a Gothenburg synagogue

However, earlier this week a local court changed the route, cutting its total length by almost half, citing risks to public order and security. Marchers will no longer be allowed to pass by the synagogue or to gather outside the location of the Book Fair.


The route of the march (red) and the route prior to the court ruling which forced it to be shortened (dotted). Graphic: TT

Police in Gothenburg were on Saturday morning present at the designated meeting point of the NMR prior to its planned march, reports TT.

Several other locations in the city are already under police surveillance and roadblocks have been put in place, according to the report.


Some businesses on the march route have chosen to board up windows prior to the demonstration. Photo: Jonas Dagson/TT

The NMR, set up in 1997, promotes an openly racist and anti-Semitic doctrine, and its growing popularity in Sweden has caused concern in neighbouring Norway

Earlier in the month, about 50 members of extremist group marched through the centre of Gothenburg, an event for which the group did not have a permit. According to media reports, a minor fight broke out between some of the protesters and a counter-demonstrator, but police quickly intervened and did not make any arrests.

READ ALSO: Why 2016 saw a surge of neo-Nazi activity in Sweden

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