Observing Sweden – 25 September 2016

Embassy: No-go zones ‘do not exist in Sweden’

Taken from: The Local

Published: 23 Sep 2016 15:40 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 Sep 2016 16:37 GMT+02:00

Sweden’s embassy in Budapest has sharply rebuked Hungary after an official leaflet claimed that Stockholm and other European cities had become “no-go areas”.

Flyers warning of “hundreds of no-go areas in European cities”, which highlighted Stockholm along with London, Brussels, Marseille, Berlin and the Copenhagen-Malmö area, were this month sent to millions of households in Hungary ahead of its referendum next month on EU refugee quotas, reports the Financial Times.

The leaflets claimed that migrants have overrun hundreds of “no-go” areas in Europe which “the authorities cannot keep under control” and where “the norms of the host society (…) barely prevail”.

Counsellor Anna Boda, the Deputy Head of Mission at the Swedish Embassy in Hungary, told The Local via email on Friday that representatives from Sweden, as well as Germany and the UK, have been in contact with Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijarto to protest against “the false information”.

“It is important to us that accurate information about Sweden is given to the citizens of Hungary. The embassy has therefore had reason to object sharply to a map of Europe with red markings in a handful of member states, including Sweden, in which the Hungarian government claims that so-called ‘no-go zones’ exist, where police and the state have no control over citizens’ safety,” she said.

Meanwhile, in the Reality Zone

Swedish police lose control amid refugee crisis as number of ‘no-go zones’ rises to 55

FILE PHOTO © Fredrik Sandberg

The number has risen from 50 in February, when the police last gave a comprehensive report on the issue, and last week, when the law enforcement agency gave an update. According to media reports, the service is facing a major crisis of self-confidence, with as many as three officers on average asking to resign on a daily basis. Internal polls say four officers out of five have been considering a change of profession lately.

“We have a major crisis. Many colleagues are choosing to quit,” police officer Peter Larsson told the Norwegian broadcaster NRK. “A drastically worsened working environment means many colleagues are now looking for other work.”

If officers go into a no-go zone, they risk being verbally attacked or pelted with stones. Patrol cars may be set ablaze or stolen.

Crime rates in the blacklisted areas are on the rise, the police report said. The offenses range from vandalism to drug crimes to sex assaults and gun violence. One particular example is Malmo, Sweden’s third-largest city, where more than 70 cars were set on fire by arsonists over several days. The police managed to arrest only one suspect while investigating those attacks.

Ironically, after the Hungarian government used the existence of no-go zones in Europe to promote its cause for an upcoming referendum on EU quotas, the Swedish embassy rebuked it saying that no such areas existed in their country.

“It is important to us that accurate information about Sweden is given to the citizens of Hungary. The embassy has therefore had reason to object sharply to a map of Europe with red markings in a handful of member states, including Sweden, in which the Hungarian government claims that so-called ‘no-go zones’ exist, where police and the state have no control over citizens’ safety,” Anna Boda, the Deputy Head of the Swedish diplomatic mission in Budapest told The Local.

No-go zone” is a loaded term with no clear definition and caused division earlier amid the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe. Last year Paris wanted to sue Fox New for a report, which said no-go zones existed in the French capital.

Earlier today in Malmo

Four men injured in scooter shootout in Sweden

Posted about 5 hours ago

Four men have been injured, one critically, in the centre of Sweden’s southern city of Malmo, in what police said appeared to be a targeted attack by gunmen riding scooters.

The shooting broke out shortly before 7:00pm (local time) in a street in the southern city’s Fosie district. Police in the area evacuated one of the injured to the city hospital.

“The three other injured were able to make their own way to hospital,” police said in a statement.

According to witnesses interviewed by the SydSvenskan newspaper, local residents were able to take the injured to hospital in their cars before emergency services arrived.

“The attackers were able to flee on scooters. An inquiry has been opened for attempted murder. No suspect has been apprehended,” the police statement said.

Multiple eye witnesses told Swedish media that there had been a car chase, with the four victims in one vehicle and two scooters pursuing them.

The car ended up ramming into a tree before multiple individuals on the scooters, who all had their faces covered, opened fire on the vehicle, shooting off some 20 rounds, local media reported.

“They were firing automatic weapons,” an eyewitness said.

One of the victims was hit in the head and remains in critical condition.

While Sweden is generally a peaceful, safe country with low crime rates, police have had difficulty addressing violence in poorer neighbourhoods in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo.

In recent years, there have been grenade attacks, shootings and incidents of car arson.

At the end of August, an eight-year-old child was killed when a grenade was thrown into the apartment where he was sleeping.

One of the people registered at the address was a person who had been convicted for murder in a settling of scores between members of the Somali community in Gothenburg.

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About Bruce Louis Dodson

Bruce Louis Dodson is an American expat now living in Borlänge, Sweden with his wife, cat and dog. He is an artist and world traveler who writes fiction and poetry and practices photography in his less than copious free time. His work has appeared in: Barely South Review - Boundaries Issue, Blue Collar Review, Pulsar Poetry (UK), Foliate Oak, Breadline Press West Coast Anthology . The E-buffet, Qarrtsiluni, Struggle Magazine, Pearl Literary Magazine, Contemporary Literature Review: India, 3rd Wednesday, Sleeping Cat Books - Trip of a Lifetime Anthology, Northern Liberties Review, Authors Abroad - Foreign & and Far Away Anthology, The Path, Page & Spine, The Crucible, Sleeping Cat Books -Trips of a Lifetime, Vine Leaves, Pirene's Fountain,Tic Toc Anthology - Kind of a Hurricane Press, Cordite Poetry Review, Buffalo Almanac and mgv2.
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