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Police removing people from demonstration outside Malmö City Hall. Photo: Drago Prvulovic
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Police removing people from demonstration outside Malmö City Hall. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT
Mats Åberg, former Swedish ambassador to Romania. Photo: Simon Björling/Sveriges Radio.
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Mats Åberg, former Swedish ambassador to Romania. Photo: Simon Björling/Sveriges Radio.

Violence and arrests at Malmö protest

"We have to do something on both sides of the fence"
2:49 min

Protests against the eviction of a group of Roma people from a camp in Malmö continue outside the city hall after police arrested several activists Wednesday evening.

Violence erupted when police clashed with the activists outside Malmö’s city hall on Wednesday evening, and on Thursday banners and plaques remained at the site, with slogans like “No racists in City Hall”, newspaper Sydsvenskan reported.

Police spokesperson Robert Loeffel told Swedish Radio News that it was the activists and not the EU migrants who caused the violence. Police removed people from the site and several were arrested. They also trashed migrants’ possessions, like mattresses.

Local activists had helped the EU migrants set up camp outside the city hall following their eviction from another site on Tuesday morning.

An activist named Sebastian told Swedish Radio News: "I saw how police were hitting people and running away with things those poor EU migrants had scrapped together over just the last few days."

The Malmö camp cleared on Tuesday housed between 100 and 200 people, and was made up of cars, sheds, and trailers. Both the property owner and the municipality had tried to evict the occupants, but under Swedish law were unable to do so without the precise names of those to be evicted. However, a decision by the local council environment board meant the camp could eventually be cleared.

Former Swedish ambassador to Romania Mats Åberg told Radio Sweden that the history of discrimination against the Roma people must be confronted in order to find a solution. Åberg agrees with people that say that ultimately the solution must be found in the migrants' home countries, mainly Romania and Bulgaria.

"But those people that are here have to be helped in some way. And we could do it, we should do it and we have a duty to do so. One cannot let a person drown while waiting for the organization of a good swim school somewhere else," Åberg said.

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