Police close investigation into Australian TV crew “attack”

2:08 min

This is an old article from March 1st 2016

Police say they have dropped an investigation into an apparent attack on journalists from 60 Minutes Australia who filed a report saying they were physically assaulted while filming in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby.

The crew included Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes host Liz Hayes, and a widely cited statement from The Nine Network said a cameraman and producer were slightly injured during the incident in Rinkeby, a suburb north-west of Stockholm's city centre.

However, Lars Byström, a Stockholm police spokesman, told Radio Sweden that just the camerman was lightly hurt and that he did not need to seek medical treatment.

Byström said the Australian crew had told police that a group of youths had driven over the camerman's foot and that he experienced "temporary pain but there were no injuries". 

The Nine Network statement released earlier on Tuesday said:

“Liz Hayes and a 60 Minutes crew are currently on assignment in Europe where they are reporting a story about the migrant crisis… In a suburb of Stockholm yesterday they were confronted by a group who objected to them filming…There was a series of scuffles and the police were called. The 60 Minutes cameraman and producer were slightly injured but filming continued with police at the scene.”

Speaking to Radio Sweden on Tuesday afternoon, Byström confirmed that an incident took place in Rinkeby on Monday and that the police were called to the location at around 3:45 pm. However, later on Tuesday he said "the case is now closed".

Citing the filed police report, Byström said: “There was a scuffle between a number of youngsters and the TV crew. The young people were in a car and when they left they drove over the cameraman’s foot.”

There were no other injuries or damages, said Byström, contradicting media reports of more violent scuffles.

Byström added that when the police arrived at the scene and took the TV crew's statements, the youths had already left. There are no suspects and no arrests have been made, he said.

60 Minutes have apparently partnered with Avpixlat, a Swedish anti-immigration online outlet which describes itself as working in the spirit of “alternative journalism” and as a “thorn in the side of the PC-establishment’s journalists and politicians”. Avpixlat claims to expose “inconvenient truths and opinions about Swedish immigration and migration policy”. 

Reports in global media outlets have referred to Avpixlat as a Swedish “media outlet” and “news service”. However, much of Swedish mainstream media, including newspaper Expressen, have labelled Avpixlat as a "hate site." Avpixlat also has links to the Sweden Democrat Party.

The attack was apparently confirmed by the Nine Network to Daily Mail Australia, which reported that filming on the story will continue Wednesday and that it should be broadcast on 60 Minutes in the next few weeks.

Radio Sweden has tried to reach 60 Minutes Australia for a comment.