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Child dies after ‘fall from great height’ in Stockholm – two adults arrested

UPDATED: Police have confirmed to The Local that a murder investigation is under way, after one of two children who were found seriously injured next to an apartment block in north-western Stockholm died.

a police officer outside the apartment block in hässelby, stockholm, sweden
Two children were found seriously injured north of Stockholm. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

The children were found seriously injured at an apartment block in the Hässelby suburb shortly before 10pm on Sunday.

An investigation was launched and two people, a man and a woman, were in custody on Monday morning on suspicion of murder and attempted murder.

“We cannot rule out that the children have been subjected to a criminal offence,” Stockholm police spokesperson Helena Boström Thomas told the TT news agency.

Police would not confirm the details, saying only it was unclear what was behind the incident and that the children were believed to have “fallen from a great height”.

The Expressen tabloid cited unconfirmed reports that the father allegedly stabbed the children and then threw them out the window, before stabbing himself. An injured man in his mid-40s was found in the apartment. Note that this was an ongoing investigation on Monday morning, still in its early stages, so unconfirmed information may change as further details emerge as part of the probe.

“Two adults with a close relationship to the children were arrested during the night, but I cannot confirm what the relationship between the adults and the children was,” a police control room officer told The Local on Monday.

He would not confirm reports that the children were pushed from the window, but said they were investigating the incident as suspected murder.

The children, younger than ten, were taken to hospital with serious injuries. At 8.30am on Monday, police confirmed in an update on their website that one of the children had died and the other was still in hospital with life-threatening injuries. 

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CRIME

Swedish Green leader: ‘Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity’

The riots that rocked Swedish cities over the Easter holidays were nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but instead come down to class, the joint leader of Sweden's Green Party has told The Local in an interview.

Swedish Green leader: 'Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity'

Ahead of a visit to the school in Rosengård that was damaged in the rioting, Märta Stenevi said that neither the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan, who provoked the riots by burning copies of the Koran, nor those who rioted, injuring 104 policemen, were ultimately motivated by religion. 

“His demonstration had nothing to do with religion or with Islam. It has everything to do with being a right extremist and trying to to raise a lot of conflict between groups in Sweden,” she said of Paludan’s protests. 

“On the other side, the police have now stated that there were a lot of connections to organised crime and gangs, who see this as an opportunity to raise hell within their communities.”

Riots broke out in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Stockholm, Norrköping, Linköping and Landskrona over the Easter holidays as a result of Paludan’s tour of the cities, which saw him burn multiple copies of the Koran, the holy book of Islam. 

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More than 100 police officers were injured in the riots, sparking debates about hate-crime legislation and about law and order. 

According to Stenevi, the real cause of the disorder is the way inequality has increased in Sweden in recent decades. 

“If you have big chasms between the rich people and poor people in a country, you will also have a social upheaval and social disturbance. This is well-documented all across the world,” she says. 
 
“What we have done for the past three decades in Sweden is to create a wider and wider gap between those who have a lot and those who have nothing.” 

 
The worst way of reacting to the riots, she argues, is that of Sweden’s right-wing parties. 
 
“You cannot do it by punishment, by adding to the sense of outsider status, you have to start working on actually including people, and that happens through old-fashioned things such as education, and a proper minimum income, to lift people out of their poverty, not to keep them there.”

This, she says, is “ridiculous”, when the long-term solution lies in doing what Sweden did to end extreme inequality at the start of the 20th century, when it created the socialist folkhem, or “people’s home”. 

“It’s easy to forget that 100 to 150 years ago, Sweden was a developing country, with a huge class of poor people with no education whatsoever. And we did this huge lift of a whole nation. And we can do this again,” she says. “But it needs resources, it needs political will.” 
 
 
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