58-year-old woman suspected of instigating Rosengård riots

58-year-old woman suspected of instigating Rosengård riots
Police on the Amiralsgatan street through Rosengård on August 28th. Photo: TT
A 58-year-old woman has been detained on suspicion of instigating violent riots in the Rosengård area of Malmö after far-right activists burned and kicked the Koran.

The riots broke out two weekends ago, grabbing both national and global headlines. Police suspect they were primarily started by people who had travelled to the area from other parts of Malmö or even other cities in Sweden, as only four out of 14 people currently suspected of violent rioting actually live in Rosengård.

“These people are like travelling salespeople dealing in trouble. My feeling was that it wasn't to do with religious motives, rather that a lot of people took the opportunity to torch things and make a mess,” police inspector Fredrik Brokopp told the Aftonbladet tabloid about the general mood on the night.

A 58-year-old woman is now suspected of instigating the riots, report regional newspapers Sydsvenskan and Kvällsposten. She denies the allegations, her lawyer told the newspapers.

Swedish media reported last week that the woman was seen on video during the unrest in Rosengård, holding a torch as she shouted at the crowds, appearing to edge them on.

She has no previous criminal record and lives in Malmö, according to Kvällsposten.

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The unrest started when activists linked to Danish politician Rasmus Paludan's far-right party Hardline posted a video of themselves burning a copy of the Koran in Malmö on August 28th. Police had earlier on the Friday stopped Paludan on the border and banned him from entering Sweden for two years.

Police also arrested several people involved in a far-right rally where a Koran was kicked around on the ground in the Stortorget square in central Malmö on suspicion of agitation against ethnic groups.

Then riots broke out in mainly the Rosengård area of the city, with bus shelters being smashed, lampposts overturned, billboards destroyed and police being peltered with rocks and tyres.

But the riots petered out within days, after residents in the area took to the streets with police and religious representatives to help calm the situation. Malmö council workers and local residents spent the following Saturday and Sunday clearing up the destruction left behind by the rioters.

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