A group of right-wing extremists demonstrated outside a housing facility for unaccompanied refugee children near Stockholm after internet rumours about a suspected sexual assault spiraled out of control.
Police have launched a preliminary investigation into a suspected case of agitation against ethnic groups (hets mot folkgrupp) after a group of right-wing activists screamed racial slurs and threw eggs at the refugee housing facility in Solna, north of Stockholm.
“Outside the refugee facility they screamed ‘blackheads’ [svartskallar] and ‘go home immigrants’ and other things,” police spokesperson Diana Sundin told the magasine Expo, which tracks right-wing extremism.
Police spokesperson Marie-Louise Nilsson from Stockholm’s western district, while refusing to confirm who was behind the action, confirmed for the TT news agency that around 30 people, primarily men, arrived at the facility in their cars.
They were carrying signs and threw eggs at the building, in addition to screaming racial slurs, but left the scene once police arrived.
The attack on the refugee housing facility, which took place on Saturday, comes following accusations that residents at the facility had sexually molested girls at a nearby public pool.
A week prior to the incident, 18 teenage boys and 2 staff members from the facility visited the Husbybadet public pool.
During the visit, five to seven of the boys allegedly molested three young girls, aged 11 and 12 years old, the Aftonbladet newspaper reported.
“They were touched on the back, legs, and behind. No clothes were removed,” police spokesperson Diana Sundin told the newspaper, adding that the boys were quickly separated from the girls when the incident took place.
The boys were subsequently reported to police on suspicions of sexual molestation.
In the days following the incident, however, the boys’ alleged crimes became wildly exaggerated on a number of internet discussion forums.
Blogs and chat sites described a “gang rape of an 11-year-old girl, carried out by 20 men”, a description which police emphatically reject.
“The whole thing has been blown way out of proportion. No one was raped. No one has said anything like that during interviews or in the report, but such rumours have started to spread on the internet,” the police’s Mats Eriksson told Aftonbladet.
According to Expo, the action was carried out by white-power activists from the Nordisk Ungdom (‘Nordic Youth’).
On the group’s website are film clips and photos taken at what the Nordisk Ungdom call a “Protest action against rapists”.
“This is to protest against the anti-Swedish and reckless sexual assault carried out by so called refugee children at the Husbybadet in Stockholm last Sunday against a 11-year-old Swedish girls,” writes the group.
Now police fear the activists are planning new attacks against the facility.
“The whole thing has gone way out of proportion. Now there are rumours they plan to take another run at the facility,” the police’s Nilsson told the TT news agency.
As a result, police have increased surveillance around the facility. Johanna Hållén a spokesperson with facility operator Attendo Care, said the incident has affected the refugee children living there.
“Clearly they think it’s unpleasant,” she told Expo.
So far no one has been informed that they are suspected of any crime following Saturday’s egg attack on the facility and police continue to investigate the matter.