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Police try to piece together final hours of Australian killed in Gothenburg

Police in Gothenburg are trying to piece together the final hours of an Australian citizen who died from severe stab wounds after being found in a central area of the Swedish city.

Police try to piece together final hours of Australian killed in Gothenburg
The man was found at Odinsplatsen, not far from Gothenburg Central Station. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

A police patrol found the man lying injured near Gothenburg Central Station in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The Australian citizen, who had only been living in Sweden for a matter of months, was taken to hospital in critical condition and later died.

“The victim has never been on the Swedish police radar. He's not a criminal or anyone we were aware of, just a young man who moved here in the summer and has lived here for around half a year,” Swedish police West region spokesperson Ulla Brehm told The Local.

“We've carried out a forensic investigation and are awaiting the results, and we're also trying to find out where he had been in the last hours, using CCTV cameras in the area for example to help with that.”

READ ALSO: Man dies after being found injured in central Gothenburg

Police said they have spoken with “a lot of people” in an attempt to piece together more information but would not reveal whether they had interviewed any witnesses. No arrests have been made and there is currently no suspect.

“We're in contact with his next of kin and trying to find out if they know more about where he was, what he was doing, that kind of thing. If he was alone or if he was accompanied by others,” Brehm explained.

“We've also been in contact with a relative who is on the way to Sweden from Australia, for a very sad reason. We're working intensively on this to find out what happened,” she concluded.

CRIME

Swedish Green leader: ‘Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity’

The riots that rocked Swedish cities over the Easter holidays were nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but instead come down to class, the joint leader of Sweden's Green Party has told The Local in an interview.

Swedish Green leader: 'Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity'

Ahead of a visit to the school in Rosengård that was damaged in the rioting, Märta Stenevi said that neither the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan, who provoked the riots by burning copies of the Koran, nor those who rioted, injuring 104 policemen, were ultimately motivated by religion. 

“His demonstration had nothing to do with religion or with Islam. It has everything to do with being a right extremist and trying to to raise a lot of conflict between groups in Sweden,” she said of Paludan’s protests. 

“On the other side, the police have now stated that there were a lot of connections to organised crime and gangs, who see this as an opportunity to raise hell within their communities.”

Riots broke out in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Stockholm, Norrköping, Linköping and Landskrona over the Easter holidays as a result of Paludan’s tour of the cities, which saw him burn multiple copies of the Koran, the holy book of Islam. 

READ ALSO: 

More than 100 police officers were injured in the riots, sparking debates about hate-crime legislation and about law and order. 

According to Stenevi, the real cause of the disorder is the way inequality has increased in Sweden in recent decades. 

“If you have big chasms between the rich people and poor people in a country, you will also have a social upheaval and social disturbance. This is well-documented all across the world,” she says. 
 
“What we have done for the past three decades in Sweden is to create a wider and wider gap between those who have a lot and those who have nothing.” 

 
The worst way of reacting to the riots, she argues, is that of Sweden’s right-wing parties. 
 
“You cannot do it by punishment, by adding to the sense of outsider status, you have to start working on actually including people, and that happens through old-fashioned things such as education, and a proper minimum income, to lift people out of their poverty, not to keep them there.”

This, she says, is “ridiculous”, when the long-term solution lies in doing what Sweden did to end extreme inequality at the start of the 20th century, when it created the socialist folkhem, or “people’s home”. 

“It’s easy to forget that 100 to 150 years ago, Sweden was a developing country, with a huge class of poor people with no education whatsoever. And we did this huge lift of a whole nation. And we can do this again,” she says. “But it needs resources, it needs political will.” 
 
 
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