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RACISM

Sweden’s Durmaz faces online racial abuse after World Cup loss

Sweden's Jimmy Durmaz faced a wave of racial hatred and even death threats after he gave away the foul that led to Toni Kroos's late winner for Germany at the World Cup.

Sweden's Durmaz faces online racial abuse after World Cup loss
Sweden's midfielder Jimmy Durmaz (R) helps his teammate Marcus Berg laying on the football pitch after being injured during the World Cup match against Germany on Saturday. Photo: ODD ANDERSEN / AFP
Abusive comments on the 29-year-old substitute's Instagram account poured in after Germany won 2-1 in the 95th minute in Sochi on Saturday.
 
The winger's teammates came quickly to the defence of Durmaz, who was born in Sweden to Assyrian parents who emigrated from Turkey. 
 
“No shadow falls over Jimmy, there is nothing bad to say about him. People can't blame one person. You win as a team and you lose as a team,” midfielder Albin Ekdal told the daily Aftonbladet. 
 
“He ran and fought the entire time. It's bad luck. It's completely idiotic to give him hatred because of it,” striker John Guidetti said. 
 
Durmaz, who shrugged off the comments, said he has “always seen hatred on his social media” accounts. 
 
“If you've had this your entire life then it's not a big deal. I'm proud to represent my country,” he said. 
 
The chain of abuse was met with outrage from observers and Durmaz's fans. 
 
“Crazy people openly raging with racism against Jimmy Durmaz after a football match unfortunately says too much about the world we live in,” Swedish sports journalist Patrick Ekwall tweeted on Sunday.
 
“Don't let them get to you! You're amazing,” a fan wrote on Durmaz's Instagram account
 
Sweden face Mexico in Yekaterinburg on Wednesday, with the chance to progress to the knockout rounds.

RACISM

Black Lives Matter wins Swedish rights prize

The international civil rights movement Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation on Friday won Sweden's Olof Palme human rights prize for 2020.

Black Lives Matter wins Swedish rights prize
A Black Lives Matter protest in Malmö, June 2020. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The foundation was honoured for its work promoting “peaceful civil disobedience against police brutality and racial violence all over the world,” prize organisers said in a statement.

The Black Lives Matter movement, founded in 2013 in the United States, has “in a unique way exposed the hardship, pain, and wrath of the African-American minority at not being valued equal to people of a different colour,” the statement said.

The movement had its major international breakthrough in the summer of 2020 following several cases of extreme brutality in the US, including the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

READ MORE: INTERVIEW: Sweden's anti-racism protests aren't just about what's happening in other countries

Prize organisers noted that an estimated 20 million people have taken part in Black Lives Matter protests in the US alone, and millions more around the world.

“This illustrates that racism and racist violence is not just a problem in American society, but a global problem.”

The Olof Palme Prize is an annual prize worth $100,000 awarded by the Olof Palme Memorial Fund.

It commemorates the memory of Sweden's Social Democratic prime minister Olof Palme, an outspoken international human rights advocate — and vehement opponent of US involvement in the Vietnam War — who was assassinated in Stockholm in 1986.

Since 1987 the award has honoured human rights defenders around the world including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.

An online prize ceremony will take place in Stockholm on Saturday.

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