Stockholm riots spread as PM slams ‘hooliganism’
STOCKHOLM — Rioting spread across Stockholm’s suburbs early Wednesday in the third night of unrest to hit the Swedish capital, as Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt blamed the violence on “hooliganism” and appealed for calm. “In the past 24 hours, around 30 cars have been set on fire… in the greater Stockholm area,” said Kjell Lindgren, a spokesman for the Stockholm police. A school and a nursery in two of Stockholm’s most deprived areas had been torched, and rocks were thrown at firefighters, police officers and their vehicles, he said.
The unrest is believed to have been sparked the deadly police shooting last week of an elderly man. In Husby, the suburb where the violence first broke out late Sunday, one man was arrested on suspicion of setting fire to an arts-and-crafts centre. Reinfeldt on Wednesday said “everyone has to take responsibility for restoring calm.” “It’s important to remember that burning your neighbour’s car is not an example of freedom of speech, it’s hooliganism,” he told news agency TT.
Sweden stunned by third night of rioting
STOCKHOLM – Hundreds of youths set fire to cars and attacked police and rescue services in suburbs of Stockholm Tuesday night in Sweden’s worst disorder in years. A police station in the Jakobsberg area in the northwest of the city was attacked, two schools were damaged and an arts and crafts center was set ablaze, despite a call for calm from Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. It was the third night of unrest, mainly in suburbs where many immigrants live.
The riots, in one of Europe’s richest capitals, have shocked a country that prides itself on a reputation for social justice, and fuelled a debate about how Sweden is coping with both youth unemployment and an influx of immigrants. “We’ve had around 30 cars set on fire last night, fires that we connect to youth gangs and criminals,” Kjell Lindgren, spokesman for Stockholm police, said on Wednesday.
40 hurt as RMG workers clash with police in Ashulia
At least 40 people were hurt as workers from three garment factories clashed with law enforcement personnel at different points in Ashulia Tuesday. Sources said clashes broke out in the morning when workers of Matlar Apparels at Narsinghapur and a Setara Group unit at Berun took up positions in front of their respective offices a kilometer away from one another on the Abdullahpur-Baipail road. They were demonstrating for an increase in salary and quick implementation of the new wage board for readymade garments (RMG) workers.
The protesters put up barricades on the road, disrupting traffic movement for about half an hour. Clashes broke out around 9am as police tried to disperse them with a baton-charging, leaving at least 10 people injured. The authorities declared their respective factories closed for the day for fear of further unrest. In another incident on the Dhaka-Aricha highway, around 30 people were reportedly injured in a clash with police as workers from a nearby garment factory blockaded the road after finding their office closed.
In an unscheduled move, factory management declared yesterday a holiday, in the wake of a disruptive demonstration the day before, sources said. Ashulia police station Inspector (Investigation) Mostafa Kamal said the workers of Medlar Apparels smashed vehicles on the highway as part of their protest, but police drove them off with batons. Several workers, however, claimed police threw teargas shells in their direction, injuring at least 30 people in the process.
No one from the factory’s management was available for comment. On Monday, thousands of workers of a factory of Ha-Meem Group had blockaded the Dhaka-Tangail highway and clashed with police, demanding a minimum wage of Tk8,000 and “protection against attacks by outsiders” apparently hired by their employers. They also demanded wages for the three days that their factory were closed from May 13- 16, due to labour unrest following the suicide attempt of a female colleague. The workers of Medlar Apparels Limited reportedly joined their demonstration and both factory authorities declared Monday and yesterday as holidays. Earlier, all factories in Ashulia had been closed for three days following protest demonstrations by the workers. The factories reopened last Friday.
Malaysia tribal groups protest world hydro meeting
About 300 Borneo tribespeople staged a protest at a world hydroelectric industry meeting in Malaysia on Wednesday to denounce dams they say are destroying forests and native ways, AFP reports. Officials in the Malaysian state of Sarawak have for years been accused of ramming through controversial dams, and opponents have harshly criticised the International Hydropower Association’s (IHA) decision to meet in the state.
Shouting “No more mega-dams,” and with signs saying “No forced resettlement,” protesters in feather-strewn traditional woven hats and decorative tribal beadwork demonstrated outside the meeting venue in the Sarawak capital Kuching. Organisers said most of the protesters had travelled for days from the jungly state’s rugged interior. “Holding the meeting here is a slap at us. We demand that the Sarawak government stop these mega-dams and start respecting our rights,” said Raymond Abin, 48, who said he was forced to move a decade ago to make way for the Bakun Dam, Malaysia’s largest.
Protesters hurl firebombs as Chile leader speaks
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) – Bands of young people hurling firebombs and stones clashed with police outside Chile’s congress on Tuesday after thousands of students and workers staged a protest march before President Sebastian Pinera’s final state of the nation speech. The president was not exposed to the violence around the legislature, which is in the port city of Valparaiso. Authorities said more than 130 people had been arrested and two police motorcycles were set on fire
Bus drivers protest
Business came to a standstill at Lusaka town centre along Freedom Way when angry bus drivers and other sympathizers blocked the road with a stationary bus, concrete blocks and tree branches in protest against police officer’s alleged assault on a fellow driver. The angry mob shouted anti-traffic Police slogans while others took advantage of the confusion to air their opinions on the removal of maize and fuel subsidies by Government. Shops near to the scene were closed in fear of possible looting in the mix of the confusion though an hour later, police in riot gear arrived on the scene to try and calm the situation.
However, the crowd turned violent and started throwing stones at the police who were trying to move the stationary bus off the road, forcing the police to fire blanks and teargas canisters to disburse the unruly crowd. “We wont allow police to brutalize us on top of getting money through their ‘fake’ check points, they were just fortunate today (yesterday),” said one bus driver who preferred anonymity. The situation returned to normal a few minutes after the police successfully towed the stationary bus off the road leaving many shoppers choked with teargas. By press time, police spokesperson Elizabeth Kanjela could not be reached for a comment as her phone went unanswered.
Inmates’ Relatives Protest After Reports Of Self-Mutilations
QARAZHAL, Kazakhstan — Dozens of inmates’ relatives are protesting outside a maximum security prison in the central Kazakh town of Qarazhal following media reports about self-mutilations by dozens of inmates. One protester, Anastasia Tulendieva, told RFE/RL on May 22 that the administration of the AK-159/22 penitentiary has refused to meet with the inmates’ relatives and would not release any information about the situation.
She said a bus was brought to the prison and screaming could be heard coming from the building. Local media reported that 30 inmates in the prison “maimed” themselves late on May 21. A spokesman for the Regional Committee for Penitentiary and Correction Implementation told RFE/RL on the same day that the reports were false. For years, prisoners in penitentiaries located in the central Qaraghandy Oblast have rioted to protest conditions in the facilities.