On Easter Sunday, counter-demonstrators revolted again after a meeting of the far-right Stram Kurs party in Sweden. came to the riots. In the southern town of Norrköpping, police said they fired warning shots. Three people were injured, broadcaster SVT reported in the evening.
There were also riots in Linköping, with more than 25 arrests in total. Police say they themselves were attacked. Ten people were hospitalized with minor injuries, TT news agency reported, citing health authorities.
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In Norrköping, 150 demonstrators took to the streets on Sunday against Stram Kurs. According to the police, stones were thrown at the officers and cars were set on fire. Police arrested four protesters.
The protests were sparked by a meeting of Stram Kurs. Their party leader, the lawyer Rasmus Paludan, is currently on tour in various Swedish towns and organizes meetings where a Koran must be burned at each one. There were several clashes between police and counter-protesters.
Right-wing extremist Paludan has Danish and Swedish nationality and plans to run with a Swedish branch of his party in the late summer parliamentary elections. In Denmark, Stram Kurs calls for the prohibition of Islam and the expulsion of people who are not of Danish origin.
In Malmö, a bus caught fire on Easter Sunday evening after unidentified people threw a flaming object at the vehicle. Passengers were able to exit the bus in time. Other vehicles and several garbage cans also burned in the southern Swedish city.
The protests in Malmö emerged after the originally planned event in the town of Landskrona was moved to Malmö due to riots. Police said around 100 people, mostly young people, threw rocks and set cars, trash cans and tires on fire in Landskrona. After the transfer to Malmö, the protests also intensified there. Party leader Paludan was thrown with a stone and beaten.
Malmo Police Chief Petra Stenkula said he was sad that free speech had become a “passport” for such riots. Fortunately, there were only a few minor injuries during the night. A 16-year-old boy was arrested.
In the southern city of Örebro, several police cars were set on fire on Good Friday. A dozen police officers were injured. There were also stone-throwing riots in the capital Stockholm.
The burning of the Koran by Paludan also provoked an official reaction from Malaysia. The foreign minister of the predominantly Muslim island nation said the action went “beyond moral limits and standards of the right to freedom of expression”. It fuels hatred “which must be rejected by all who seek peace and promote peaceful coexistence”, he said. (Afp, AFP, Tsp)