Skip to main content

Swedish capital shaken by 3 nights of rioting

By Stephanie Halasz. Per Nyberg and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
updated 8:30 PM EDT, Wed May 22, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Three nights of rioting involves youths and police in Sweden's capital, Stockholm
  • Husby, a northern suburb of Stockholm, has been at the center of the disorder
  • Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt appeals for calm in the capital

(CNN) -- Rioting has broken out for the past three nights in Sweden's capital, Stockholm, with scores of cars set alight and violent clashes between police and youths.

The shooting death of a man by police is blamed for the demonstrations.

More than 100 vehicles were set on fire Sunday night just in the northern suburb of Husby, Stockholm police press officer Kjell Lindgren told CNN on Wednesday. Another 29 were set on fire Tuesday night in the wider district, he said.

Eight people were arrested in Husby Tuesday night, which was quieter than the previous two nights, he said.

Husby is an area that has a lot of problems and a high crime rate, according to Lindgren.

The Swedish version of The Local, an English-language online newspaper, quoted a local youth leader as saying some police officers used racial slurs against residents Sunday as the trouble flared.

Tensions have been brewing since May 14, when police shot dead a 69-year-old Husby man who had a machete, the newspaper said.

The disorder led Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt to issue a statement Tuesday appealing for calm.

"We have had two nights of great worry, damage to property and a threatening mood in Husby. There is a risk that it will continue. Now everyone must help out to calm things down," he said.

"We have groups of young men who believe one should and can change our society through violence. We cannot let violence govern."

Police officers are there to maintain order according to laws that apply to everyone and to keep residents safe, Reinfeldt said.

"We should not make the use of violence a part of freedom of expression," he added.

Reinfeldt said the trouble reflects a broader problem in Swedish society; more should be done to support education and help young people into work, he said.

Sweden is generally regarded as having a history of successful integration of various immigrant groups.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The tragic killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a bitter public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 8:27 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
More than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation, Unicef has warned.
updated 8:22 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Boko Haram's latest abductions may meet a weary global reaction, Nigerian journalist Tolu Ogunlesi says.
updated 5:34 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Drops, smudges, pools of blood are everywhere -- but in the computer room CNN's Nic Robertson reels from the true horror of the Peshawar school attack.
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT