Several were injured in clashes at an anti-immigration meeting in Sweden

Several were injured in clashes at an anti-immigration meeting in Sweden

Swedish police said police injured three people on Sunday in the eastern city of Norrköping when protesters protested against plans by a right-wing extremist group to burn copies of the Koran. “The police fired several warning shots. Three people appear to have been hit by ricochets and are currently being treated in hospital,” police said in a statement.

The three injured were arrested, police said, adding that their condition was not known. Sunday’s clashes in Norrköping were the others there in four days.

On the first occasion, the demonstrators had protested against a demonstration by the anti-immigration and anti-Islam group “Hard Line”, led by the Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan40.

On Sunday, they gathered again to protest at another rally, which eventually abandoned Paludan. Four people were arrested among the approximately 150 participants, when protesters threw stones at police and cars were set on fire, police say.

According to the health service quoted by the local news agency TT, 10 people were taken to hospital with minor injuries after the clashes and similar unrest took place in the neighboring town of Linkpping, where the far-right party Hard Line also abandoned a demonstration.

Swedish “tour”

Paludan, who intends to run in the Swedish parliamentary elections in September but does not yet have the necessary number of signatures to secure his candidacy, is currently on “tour” in Sweden. He visits neighborhoods with large Muslim populations where he wants to burn copies of the Koran. As a lawyer and YouTuber, he has previously been convicted of racist insults.

In 2019, he burned a Koran wrapped in bacon and was blocked for a month by Facebook after a post that mixed immigration and crime. On Saturday, one of his meetings was moved from a district in Landskrona to an isolated car park in southern Malmö, the large neighboring city, but a car tried to force the protective barriers. The driver was arrested and Paludan then burned a Koran.

Hard Line’s tour has triggered several clashes between the police and counter-protesters across the Scandinavian country in recent days. During Thursday and Friday, about 12 police officers were injured in the clashes.

In the wake of the series of incidents, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said it had called for the Swedish charge d’affaires in Baghdad on Sunday. It warned that the deal could have “serious repercussions” on “relations between Sweden and Muslims in general, both Muslim and Arab countries and Muslim communities in Europe”.

In November 2020, Paludan was arrested in France and deported. Five other activists were arrested shortly afterwards in Belgium, accused of wanting to “spread hat” by burning a Koran in Brussels.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Originally published on France24

Several were injured in clashes at an anti-immigration meeting in Sweden


Related Posts: