By Douglas Ernst
Swedish social workers were told that an in-house memorial service for one of their murdered peers was forbidden because it might upset Muslim refugees.
Alexandra Mezher, 22, was killed Jan. 25 in Mölndal, Sweden, while trying to break up a fight between two teenagers. The young woman died of stab wounds inflicted by a migrant.
Social workers in Örnsköldsvik who could not make the 550-mile drive to Mezher’s official memorial service wanted to hold an impromptu ceremony but were denied by the town council.
Roughly 163,000 migrants applied for asylum in the Scandinavian country last year, which made it the highest per capita destination in Europe. The country now seeks to discourage future waves by rejecting 80,000 existing applicants.
“What happened in Mölndal could have happened here. That’s how bad it is,” social worker Carl Lindahl told SVT Vasternorrland Jan. 31. He said a request to fly the Sweden’s flag at half-mast was also denied.
Örnsköldsvik representative Katarina Jensstad contacted the website and said the council did not want a memorial service in the same building as the unaccompanied minors. A ceremony was eventually held at a nearby church, but social workers were not allowed to leave their shift to attend.
Somali refugee Youssaf Khaliif Nuur, 15, has been charged with Mezher’s murder. Authorities may also charge HVB Living Nordic, the woman’s employer, with corporate manslaughter for allowing her to work alone.
Sweden, like numerous countries that have taken in migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, has struggled to police rising crime.
“We have to go to work against unrest in the asylum centers which places a much greater demand than might appear outwardly,” National Police Commissioner Dan Eliasson told the Express on Jan. 27. “In some places in Sweden this eats significant resources out of the police’s capability. From several sources there are reports that staff are poorly prepared to handle violence, threats and conflicts while there are too few security guards.”
Eliasson told the website he would need at least 4,100 addition employees to handle the spike in crime. He noted a recent report on asylum centers showing a jump of 148 incidents in 2014 to 322 in 2015.