Police confirm Nazis behind Reclaim the Night attack as man fights for his life

by Jack R

Police in Malmo have confirmed that three of the men who attacked a group returning from a Reclaim the Night demonstration in the early hours of Sunday are known Nazis holding membership with the svenskarnas parti (Swedes party), a party that claims that “only people who belong to the western genetic and cultural heritage…should be Swedish citizens”. Of these three men, two of them have previous criminal records for carrying knives and batons in public, whilst the third has no previous criminal record. Two of the men were arrested immediately following the attack, whilst the third was arrested during the day yesterday.

Malmo FF players gather in front of “Kämpa Showan” mural before training – photo: @Malmoistas1910

In other developments Showan Shattak, one of the people who was attacked and was reported yesterday morning as “stable” is in a critical condition in hospital, with Sydsvenskan reporting earlier today that he is “fighting for his life”. As a prolific supporter of Malmo FF and prominent campaigner against sexism and homophobia in football news of his attack spread rapidly, with yesterday’s solidarity demonstrations being boosted in numbers by local football fans and online support rallying around the slogan “Kämpa Showan” (“Fight Showan). Players in Malmo FF have also publicly offered their support to Showan, with “some kind of manifestation” planned for their match against Hammarby on Saturday. The 3 other feminists who were attacked are reported as stable, having received treatment for stab wounds to the arms and lungs. It is unknown what condition the two previously hospitalised attackers are in.

Solidarity tattoo – photo: @LFCJohansson

One of those attacked has stated to Sydsvenskan that it was a clearly planned attack, with the attackers throwing bottles and attacking with knives. Activist site Motkraft reported that “the Nazis had been searching for potential victims the entire evening in the vicinity of the March 8th Festival…the attack was… no coincidence”.

On a national level, it appears that this latest attack could cause some political fallout, and indeed already has, as Aftonbladet reported for most of the day that the Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt was “too busy” to comment on the attack, leading some to start the twitter hashtag “#VarÄrReinfeldt?” (Where is Reinfeldt?). A statement was finally made at 15.30, describing how “the existence of Nazism and racism dirty… Sweden”. Reinfeldt was previously criticised for not making a strong enough statement against far-right violence following the attack in Stockholm in December.

It also appears that heads could roll at Säpo, the Swedish security agency, who last month responded to news that Swedish Nazis, including one of the attackers, were travelling to Ukraine by stating that “the Security Service is interested only in Swedes who travel to engage in terror-related activities in other countries (such as al-Qaeda-inspired groups in Syria)”. Today however, amid news articles with titles such as “Wake up Säpo, it’s serious”, chairman of the committee on justice Morgan Johansson has summoned the head of Säpo in a statement that warned that there could be a “Swedish Anders Breivik among these [right-wing] groups”.

Yesterday saw demonstrations involving thousands occur across the country in cities such as Malmo, Gothenburg and Stockholm, with more demonstrations planned for later in the week. Anger continues to grow at the lack of response by the police and Säpo in preventing these clearly pre-planned attacks and the apparent resurgence of far-right street violence, with Motkraft warning that “Today, they stand for violence in the streets. In September, they stand for parliamentary elections”.

Motkraft has a piece duplicated in English here which provides more information on recent occurrences of far-right violence in Sweden.