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Stabbed schoolboy’s mum denied visa for funeral in Sweden

The mother of a 17-year-old boy stabbed to death at a school in Stockholm has been denied a visa to attend his funeral.

Stabbed schoolboy's mum denied visa for funeral in Sweden
Police arrive at Enskede Gårds gymnasium in December. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT
Mahmoud Alizade had been an active campaigner in the sit-in protest against the deportation of child refugees from Afghanistan until he was stabbed by another pupil at Enskede gårds gymnasium school in December last year. 
 
But more than four months after his death, he has still to be buried, as his mother, brother and sister, who live in Iran, have waited for a visa to attend the funeral. 
 
“We have had the request denied, but we have appealed,” her lawyer Viktor Banke told TT newswire. “Her great wish is to be able to say farewell to her son.” 
 
The trial of Alizade's 17-year-old alleged assailant began at Södertörn's Disctrict Court on Wednesday, with the court hearing that the boy had threatened to stab someone to death two months before the attack. 
 
“I'm cut him,” he wrote in a message to a friend. “Then he's going to die.” 
 
He stabbed Alizade several times, with three stabs hitting his back, according to the charges.
 
When the boy was arrested later, he was said to have been under the influence of drugs, hiding in the stairwell of a nearby apartment building. 
 
The school has set up an indoor football cup in memory of Alizade, who was reportedly popular with other boys at the school and engaged in the fight for the rights of unaccompanied child asylum seekers. 

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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. 

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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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