Nine police injured during protest in Sweden

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Nine police injured during protest in Sweden
Cars burning in a parking lot in Navesta in Norrköping on Thursday evening, 14th April 2022 after riots broke out in response to the unrest in Linkoping Photo: Stefan Jerrevång / TT

Counter-protesters demonstrating against a far-right group's intention to burn a Koran in Orebro in central Sweden clashed with police on Friday, leaving nine police officers injured, authorities said.


Police said in a statement that nine officers were injured in all.

Their injuries included "broken arms and police officers who have been hit by stones," police spokesperson Diana Qudhaib told the daily Aftonbladet.

A member of the public was also hit by a stone to the head.

The demonstration, involving around 200 people, according to local media, dispersed later in the evening.


It was the second day running that there had been clashes on the fringes of a rally by the anti-immigration and anti-Islamic Stram Kurs (Hard Line) movement led by Danish-Swedish Rasmus Paludan.

Three police officers had to be taken to hospital after a riot broke out in the city of Linkoping on Sweden's east coast on Thursday, where a demonstration that included a Koran burning was planned. Two people were arrested at that protest.

Footage from the scene in the city of Linkoping on Sweden's east coast showed a car burning and dozens of masked people attacking police cars.

"The mood has been aggressive and there have been attacks against police at the scene," police spokeswoman Asa Willsund told broadcaster SVT, adding that things had calmed down after police had backed off.

The riot started ahead of a planned demonstration by anti-Muslim Danish politician Rasmus Paludan and his party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), that was meant to include a burning of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.

Manual widget for ML (class="ml-manual-widget-container")

While Stram Kurs had been given permission to hold their demonstration in the Skaggetorp neighbourhood -- where over 50 percent of inhabitants were born abroad -- they were not able to start it as police were dealing with the rioters.

"There are masked individuals at the scene that are throwing rocks at police," a statement from regional police said, without identifying if they were part of the scheduled protest or counter-protesters.

Videos posted on social media showed young men smashing in windows of police cars and shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest).

The demonstration was scheduled to start at 3:30 pm but according to police they had not been able to carry it out.

Riots also broke out in Norrköping on Thursday evening in response to the planned demonstration in Linkoping.



Rioters throwing stones at the police in Navesta in Norrköping on Thursday evening, 14th April 2022.

Rioters throwing stones at the police in Navesta in Norrköping on Thursday evening, 14th April 2022. The unrest was triggered by the fact that right-wing extremist Rasmus Paludan has been given permission to hold a public meeting. Photo: Stefan Jerrevång / TT

Reacting to the violence, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said: "In Sweden, people are allowed to express their opinions, whether they are in good or bad taste, that is part of our democracy. No matter what you think, you must never resort to violence. We will never accept it."

"This is exactly the kind of violent reaction he (Rasmus Paludan) wants to see. The very purpose is to incite people against each other," she added in comments to the TT news agency.

Paludan has regularly been at the centre of incidents in recent years.

In November 2020, he was arrested in France and deported.

Five other activists were arrested in Belgium shortly afterwards, accused of wanting to "spread hatred" by burning a Koran in Brussels.




Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also