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Man jailed for raping woman in central Malmö

A man who attacked and raped a woman in Malmö has been jailed and banned from returning to Sweden for a decade, after he was caught in Finland and extradited.

Man jailed for raping woman in central Malmö
The man filmed running across the Bergsgatan street. Photo: Police

The woman reported to police in November last year that the man, whom she had never before met, had approached her shortly after 2am at the Möllevången square in southern Sweden's largest city.

He followed her and kept touching her even though she tried to reject his advances, then raped her.

On Monday, Malmö District Court found a 37-year-old Tunisian man guilty of rape and sentenced him to two and a half years in jail, after which he is to be deported with a ten-year ban on returning to Sweden.

The man was identified with the help of witness statements after police released security camera footage which showed him approaching the woman, and later running from the scene.

But before he could be caught, he fled to Finland where he sought asylum. He was however arrested under a Nordic arrest warrant, and returned to Sweden on January 10th.


Police investigating the morning after the rape. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The man admitted to the court that he had been involved in sexual acts with the woman, but said that she had participated voluntarily. However, the district court found it had been proven that the woman was raped against her will and that the man had realized this, according to the judgment seen by The Local.

The court said it had been confirmed that the man “performed anal intercourse and inserted his fingers into the plaintiff's vagina. These acts are comparable to sexual intercourse with regard to the seriousness of the violation and should therefore be classified as rape”.

It also ordered him to pay 115,000 kronor ($12,400) in damages to the woman.

Malmö last year saw the lowest number of crimes reported in the city for the past 17 years, with the exception of rape. A total of 234 rapes were reported to the police in the municipality in 2018 according to figures by Sweden's National Council for Crime Prevention, an increase from 207 incidents the year before.

A spate of four reports of outdoor gang rapes in late 2017 in particular grabbed international headlines last year, but two of those cases turned out to be false alarms with one woman fined for lying about the incident.

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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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