“Although this kind of incident is intended to create terror and panic among the community and even wider area, the resolve and experience of the community will not be broken by mindless criminals who do not have any care for the lives and property of the public.”
Last night two acts of violence and intimidation were perpetrated in the neighborhoods of Stockholm and the TV studios of SVT in Sweden, aimed against the organized and law abiding Eritrean Community of Sweden simultaneously.
On Sunday evening the SVT program called ‘Agenda’ carried a documentary that was clearly designed to mislead and incite the audience by presenting a biased and unfair report about the 2% duty SwedishEritreans pay voluntarily towards the reconstruction of their homeland. It did not even attempt to act objectively by presenting other views. The aim of the program was clearly to terrorize people from participating in a legal and noble cause.
A few hours later to this broadcast of the Television Program in SVT, three Eritrean community centers where fire bombed during the night in a simultaneous act of terrorism and violence in the streets of the capital city of Sweden.
The Eritrean Community centers in Solna, Husby and in South Stockholm were set on fire in the middle of the night, and fire engines and police have been in attendance in the early morning of Monday 25th of February.
The Eritrean community centers are the life and soul of the community where everyone gathers for all forms of social life, such as weekend school for children, women’s gatherings, family celebrations, community meetings and all sorts of social functions. All three community centers had functions until late Sunday evening on the night the fire was started.
Police have already indicated that some people were seen acting suspiciously and people have heard breaking of a glass around the Solna Community Centre. However, negligence in dealing of previous similar incidents that were reported to police has encouraged these acts of terrorism. All law enforcement bodies should handle the series of simultaneous firebombing in the streets of Stockholm appropriately as it was intended to damage life and property of Swedish citizens.
As the news is slowly reaching the members of community, children and elderly members are especially shocked to see the venue they normally frequent in ashes and wondering what could have happened if anyone had been inside at the time of fire, and they are asking why and how was this allowed to happen.
The Eritrean community in Stockholm is a well- organized and engaged in their community matters. Although this kind of incident is intended to create terror and panic among the community and even wider area, the resolve and experience of the community will not be broken by mindless criminals who do not have any care for the lives and property of the public.
What possible aim or motivation could anyone have for firebombing a public community centre in the streets of Stockholm is the question that is repeatedly being asked by every members of the community, except to terrorize and damage the community spirit of Eritreans. By the same token, what possible aim would a Swedish television program has to misrepresent facts in a documentary that is completely alien to the objectivity you would expect from such an institution?
The Eritrean communities in Stockholm and elsewhere in Sweden have been victims of these mindless incidents by some individuals and media institutions for some period of time now, and have been talking to the police and other law enforcement authorities to take their responsibility diligently. It has now reached a serious level where lives could have been lost. The Eritrean communities cannot take any more chances. The last thing the Swedish authorities want in their hand is for people to take the law into their own hands, only because they fail to safeguard the security and peace of our communities. The whole Eritrean community cannot be held hostage by few mindless criminals who are acting with impunity in the streets of Stockholm.
These are the questions that need answers from Swedish authorities immediately. The Eritrean community is a disciplined, law abiding, peace loving and hard working part of the Swedish society and will pursue our right of association and expression vigorously until we get justice from the Swedish authorities.
Eritrean Communities in Stockholm