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crime & gender

New threats target female judges

Published söndag 10 oktober 2010 kl 16.55
Threats often target Sweden's female judges and prosecutors.

As recent headlines highlight that Sweden's judges are often subject to threats, a new report suggests that these threats are often directed towards female judges and prosecutors. The nature of the threats also differs when they target women, reports news agency TT.

"When it comes to women, there have been more allusions to the family and children in the threats," says Lars Korsell from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.

Recent examples of women who have been threatened while working in the justice system include Monica Nebelius, the judge handling a big pimping trial in Malmö. She chose to step out of the case, because of threats to her and her family. The case prosecutor, also a woman, Ulrika Rogland, was forced to get police protection after receiving a threat.

And in 2007, the chief prosecutor in Trollhättan, Barbro Jönsson, was the subject of an attempted bombing.

A study by the Swedish Council for Crime Prevention found last year that overall, between 11 and 14 percent of the district and county judges are subject to threats. Almost 25 percent of prosecutors also receive threats.

TT reports that women – in particular, female judges, are at a greater risk for being threatened. The reason is unclear, but there are some guesses.

"I believe that it depends a lot on who is lodging the threat," said Johan Olsson with the Swedish Security Service. "Some are more provoked by a negative decision from the authorities when it's made by a woman. But others, for example, criminal gangs who come from a very masculine culture, often threaten those who are more similar to them, so to speak, in order to show that they are still more manly."

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