Saturday

20th Jul 2019

Swedish police halt planned anti-migrant rampage

  • Anti-migrant group gathered on Stockholm's Sergels Torg square. (Photo: Beat Küng)

Sweden's uneasiness with the migrant crisis reached a new level over the weekend after dozens of men were stopped by the police Friday night (29 January) in Stockholm as they planned to attack young migrants.

About 100 men dressed in black gathered on Sergels Torg, a square near the capital's main train station, and handed out leaflets inciting people to attack migrants.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"It's enough now," said the leaflet, which accused the growing number of refugees in Sweden of bringing criminality.

"The North African street children who are roaming around [will get] the punishment they deserve," the flyer said.

The men, thought to be hooligans from Stockholm football teams, clashed with the police and were disbanded. Witnesses said the men attacked some people who looked like foreigners, although police said they had not received a report of any violent incident.

“They were scattering leaflets which had the intention to incite people to carry out crimes,” the Stockholm police said on its website.

Interior minister Anders Ygeman condemned "racist groups who threaten and disseminate hatred in public space". He said Swedish society should "strongly respond" to that "worrying trend".

Threats and violence

On Saturday, anti-immigration activists demonstrated in Stockholm to ask for more migrant deportations and for the resignation of prime minister Stefan Loefven. They were booed by anti-fascists, who held a protest against Friday night's incidents.

The rising tension follows the death of a social worker in a migrant centre earlier last week. A 22-year old woman was stabbed by a 15-year old unaccompanied asylum seeker near the southern city of Gothenburg.

Although the reason for the crime is unknown, the death of the young woman inflamed the debate about immigration. Last year Sweden received 163,000 migrants including 35,000 unaccompanied minors, according to Swedish Migration Agency’s figures.

The agency also said threats and violence against asylum centres had doubled compared with the previous year, with more than 20 places destroyed or damaged by fire.

Faced with an unprecedented flow, the government reversed Sweden's traditional welcoming policy and reintroduced border controls in early January. Last week, it announced a plan to expel 80,000 rejected asylum seekers.

In a poll published last week, the far-right Sweden Democrats party was first with 28.8 percent, a seven-point lead over the governing Social-Democrat Party.

Sweden keen to slow Europe's 'refugee highway'

German, Swedish, and Danish ministers have vowed to maintain the EU's passport-free Schengen zone amid broader moves to stem the flow of migrants and asylum seekers.

EU court: Denmark's family-reunification law 'unjustified'

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has delivered a blow to Denmark's strict family-reunification laws. The ruling will likely cause headaches for its new left-leaning government given its stance on immigration, and opens up 8,000 pending cases.

EU dismisses UN call to stop migrant returns to Libya

As the death toll of the Tajoura detention centre airstrike reached 53, including six children, the UN called for a halt to returning people to Libya. The EU - which is helping fund the Libyan coastguard - said no.

Libya: EU first sends migrants back, then deplores deaths

Some 40 died following an attack at a Libyan prison, where people hoping to reach Europe are locked up. The EU commission wants an investigation but remains silent on how it trains Libyans to return rescued migrants to the country.

EU guilty of Libya migrant 'tragedy', ICC lawsuit says

EU states' efforts to "deter" migrants from Libya have helped kill more than 14,000 people and exposed 40,000 others to "crimes against humanity", according to a lawsuit filed in The Hague on Monday.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. EU goes on holiday as new UK PM arrives This WEEK
  2. Survey: Half of EU staff 'don't know' ethics rules
  3. Von der Leyen signals soft touch on migrants, rule of law
  4. Timmermans: von der Leyen will be tough on rule of law
  5. Timmermans trolls 'idiot' Brexit negotiators
  6. Rudderless Europe: Will real Germany please stand up?
  7. PiS & Fidesz claim credit for von der Leyen victory
  8. Von der Leyen faces gender battle for commission posts

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us