Friday, January 25, 2019

Elderly Swede on Trial for Calling Somali Migrants ‘Lazy’ Online

A Swedish man in his 70s faced a court in the town of Uddevalla this week after social justice activists reported him to the police for labelling Somali migrants "lazy" on social media.  

The court appearance took place after the man was reported to police by the left-wing activist group Näthatsgranskaren, Swedish for "Network Examiner," for posting on Facebook that he believed Somali migrants to be "lazy people," Nyheter Idag reports.  

The man’s comments were made in response to an article by Swedish public broadcaster SVT that pointed out that around 20% of Somalis in Sweden were out of work, saying the article was a lie and that "no Somalis can work they're the lazy people in this world."  

Though the man posted the comment last year, police have only now picked up the case thanks to the activist group that's claimed responsibility for an increase in hate crime reports and prosecutions since they began their operations. In February of last year, they said they had reported at least 800 people to the police.  

The group's also claimed that many of the people reported tending to be pensioners, with one case of a 65-year-old woman they had reported going viral after she had made a video detailing the behaviour of the police.  

The man in the Uddevalla court case told police he didn't recall the original post but believed it would've been him saying he had said far stronger statements online.  

"I've written about Muslims sometimes. Half my family are Muslims and even they sometimes say ‘now it'll be all over,'" he said.  

There's also been several convictions against pensioners for hate speech in Sweden in recent years, including a case in 2017 where a Gothenburg man, also in his 70s, was fined around £1,166 for labelling Muslims as "monkeys" on a Swedish Facebook page that had 4,000 other members.

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