Sweden has been shaken in recent days by one act A series of violent riots in several cities.
The background to the riots is that controversial Danish politician Rasmus Paludan traveled around Sweden on an electoral tour, and during several election meetings he burned the Quran in the open.
When police summarized the weekend’s riots during a Monday morning press conference, the number was 26 policemen injured and 20 cars damaged. 14 civilians were injured.
Police also confirmed that they believed criminal gang members took advantage of the situation over the weekend and that the violent riots were directed more at the police than in Palaudan.
Ask the police to take action
During a press conference on Tuesday, the mayor of Norrköping said they are now asking the police to put their foot down so that Palaudan cannot hold more election meetings of this kind.
The municipality believes that in the current circumstances there is no justification for allowing more signs.
This development no one could have predicted. We have received information that Rasmus Palaudan has planned meetings. Therefore, the municipality of Norrköping and the municipality of Linköping together sent an email to the police in Östra Götaland and presented our position that in these circumstances, the police should not grant further public gatherings, says Mayor Anna Thorn.
She says the municipality had problems maintaining many important services during the violent riots, and that they fear that in the worst case it could bypass people receiving vital help from the municipal health service.
– Our care business was affected. There were users that we could not contact. We had to use other ways to communicate with users, to make sure they were safe and had what they needed, says Thörn.
Freedom of expression should be broad
The municipality tentatively affirms that it believes that the Baludan electoral meetings fall within what should be considered acceptable under freedom of expression.
The mayor of Norrköping, Ole Vikmung, says the demonstrations against the burning of the Koran, on the other hand, are unacceptable, describing them as an attack.
It is an attack on democracy, as the police have tried to protect freedom of expression, says Vikmange.
There are many who are disgusted with the positions promoted by Rasmus Paludan. But – and this is important – it does not mean that an individual has the right to commit violent acts against the police.
– These were not justified protests. It was an attack on the police and residents. Freedom of expression is essential in a democracy. It should cover extensively. As citizens, we have a shared responsibility for this, says Vikmange.
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