Sweden Democrat MEP convicted of sexual assault

A Swedish appeals court has found a Sweden Democrat member of the European Parliament guilty of sexually assaulting a colleague.

Sweden Democrat MEP convicted of sexual assault
Peter Lundgren, a Swedish member of the European Parliament. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

Peter Lundgren, 58, who had been acquitted in a district court, was sentenced to a fine equivalent to 60 days’ salary after “the prosecution presented additional evidence” to the Göta Court of Appeal in south-western Sweden.

The court said it found “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the “MEP touched the breasts of the plaintiff against her will”, the court said in a statement.

Lundgren has served as a member of the European Parliament since 2014, when he became one of the Swedish far-right’s first members of the European Parliament.

He was re-elected in 2019.

In March 2018, he was accused of “putting his hands under (the victim’s) sweater and bra and putting his hands on her breasts”, according to the charge sheet.

The victim, whose name has not been disclosed publicly, was a member of the Swedish parliament at the time.

He risked two years in prison.

The scandal erupted in May 2019, when another MEP from the Sweden Democrats, Kristina Winberg, alerted the party leadership about Lundgren’s actions against another party member.

According to Swedish media, Winberg was stricken from the party’s list of candidates for the impending European elections after speaking out.

The Sweden Democrats called her behaviour “reprehensible” and “lacking judgement both in regard to (party) colleagues and staff”.

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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. 


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.”