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Malmö student says he was racially profiled after being beaten up in nightclub

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Malmö student says he was racially profiled after being beaten up in nightclub
Giovani Nkem Nzeafack said he was beaten in the face and kneed in the neck. Photo: Private
17:51 CEST+02:00
An African student has accused police in Malmö of racially profiling him by detaining him in a cell on Saturday night after he claimed he was beaten up at a nightclub.
Giovani Nkem Nzeafack, from Cameroon, claims that two bouncers at one of Malmö's most popular nightclubs handcuffed him, took him to a basement room, and then beat him up, after he complained of harassment late on Saturday night. 
 
But when the police arrived, rather than question the bouncers, the 28-year-old claims they took him straight to a police station, where he was detained overnight. 
 
"When the police came, I had a swollen face and blood all over my clothes," Nzeafack told The Local. "They did nothing. The police did not take a picture of me, they did not call an ambulance." 
 
He complained that he had neither been questioned at the station about what had taken place, nor breathalyzed to test his alcohol level. 
 
When the police released him on Sunday morning, Nzeafack claimed he asked them why he had never been asked to give a statement, and was told that it was up to him to report the nightclub, which he then did.  
 
The nightclub's owner denied that any of their staff had been violent. 
 
"He was in a fight with someone else. We took him out and cuffed him," the owner told The Local. "The cops came, and he screamed at the cops, and the cops took him into custody."
 
Bouncers at three Malmö nightclubs were two years ago caught bragging about throwing out African customers. "Negro Nils has been vaccinated, cuffed and packaged," one boasted in a closed online forum accessed by the Aftonbladet newspaper
 
The review section on the club's Facebook page, which on Monday morning contained several complaints about violence from bouncers, was no longer accessible later in the afternoon.
 
The club's owner denied that their bouncers beat customers. 
 
"We don't take people down to the cellar and punch them and you should be embarrassed that you even write that stuff," said the owner, adding that a gig had been held in the cellar that night, with a big audience.
 
Nils Norling, a press spokesman for the police in Malmö, confirmed to The Local that the report had been filed and an investigation had been begun. 
 
"It sounds to me as if he was taken into custody because of intoxication, and that's why he wasn't presented with any criminal charges," he said. 
 
Johan Eriksson, the police officer appointed to look into the case, said that the police would contact the club and the bouncers in the coming weeks. 
 
"I will put an investigator on it this week, and the process will continue this week and next week, and we will call him and ask him to come in and tell us his story," he said. 

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Nzeafack, a student at Malmö university, moved to Sweden in 2016 with his Danish wife Freja, with whom he has an eight-month-old son. He had been in the club with three Cameroonian friends, one of whom is a professional footballer. 
 
"I had had some drinks, but I was in control of myself," he said of the evening. He said that the bouncer had repeatedly come up to him and asked him if he was OK, before gripping him by the shoulders. 
 
"I said 'no sir, don't touch me, you can talk to me without touching me'," Nzeafack remembered saying. 
 
After this, he said, the bouncer pushed him out of the main bar area, where he was joined by other bouncers.  
 
"They carried me behind a closed door and just started beating me up, and they put handcuffs on me without committing any crime," he said. "I did nothing wrong. I did not even throw a punch."
 
Nzeafack says he is convinced that the police would not have assumed he was the guilty party if he had not been black. 
 
"It's racial profiling. It's discrimination. I know that I was beaten up, and then treated by the police this way because I am a black man," he said. 
 
"If it had been me who punched the guard and the guard had been bleeding, or if it was a white person who had been beaten, there would have been an arrest, but since I'm an African, they did nothing."  
 
He said that the reason he had approached the media and filed a police report was not because he wanted to get his own back. 
 
"I'm not doing this for myself, I'm doing this for others. Because this thing it has to stop," he said. "I survived, but tomorrow someone may go through the same thing and not survive." 
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