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14-year-old girl suspected over teenager’s death in western Sweden

A 14-year-old girl is suspected of causing another teenager's death at a residential care home in Trollhätten, western Sweden.

14-year-old girl suspected over teenager's death in western Sweden
The incident took place in Trollhättan. File photo: Johan Nilsson / TT

The girl was questioned by authorities on Thursday after an argument at the HVB care-home the previous day led to a 17-year-old girl being taken to hospital, where she later died.

“I can't say that she confessed, but she gave information which together with other witness statements gave us a very good picture,” said prosecutor Robert Beckard. “Everything points to it being a knife wound which led to the 17-year-old's death.”

Speaking to the TT newswire, he could not share any further details about how the incident unfolded or any possible motive.

The girl is being investigated for murder or manslaughter but due to her age, she will not be tried as an adult.

“It is an extremely serious incident so we really have to investigate what happened and whether we could have acted in any way. Of course we're looking into it,” the head of the care home told local paper GT

Criminologist Mikael Rying, who works for Swedish police and has analyzed all murder cases in Sweden since 1990, said he had no knowledge of any similar cases in recent decades. “I can't think of (any cases in which) a girl under the age of criminal responsibility has killed,” he said.

“We don't know what happened. Murder is a brutal classification for a crime, and the younger a child is, the harder is it to claim intent,” he added.

All the other children living at the home have been moved to other accommodation following the incident, local media reported.

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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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