A lawmaker from the national-conservative Sweden Democrats party has filed a police report that claims he was brutally assaulted by three unknown assailants in the city of Borlänge.
Rasmus Giertz, one of the youngest members of the Riksdag who also serves as the Sweden Democrats chairman in Dalarna County, had just finished dinner with several colleagues on Friday, December 16th, when three unknown men accosted the group and physically assaulted the lawmaker, the Swedish news portal Samnytt reports.
“There were several men unknown to us who recognized us as political representatives. They came up to us and called us various things, things that showed it was politically motivated. They said offensive things and held out their mobile cameras and tried to provoke reactions from us,” Giertz told the newspaper Aftonbladet.
According to Giertz, the attackers, three Swedish men—two men in their forties and another in his mid-twenties—shouted expletives at Giertz and his colleagues. While Giertz and his colleagues attempted to defuse the situation, an employee from the establishment intervened and ordered the three men to leave. Shortly thereafter, Giertz and his colleagues left the bar as well, only to find the three men waiting for them outside.
“When we came out, the three people ran straight towards us, they flew at me and punched and kicked my face and arms. One of my friends tried to pull these people away from me and get between them, and my other friend ran towards town and tried to find the police,” Giertz said.
Daniel Lönn, also a politician for the Sweden Democrats in Dalarna, recounted what happened next to the newspaper Expressen, saying: “I didn’t have time to think much, I saw that they were lying on top of him and giving him blows and then you don’t have time to reflect much, you just want to resolve it. So, I ran over there and moved one of them and then it calmed down, then the others got up from the ground. One ran away so there were only two left.”
The following Monday, December 19th, Giertz filed a police report about the assault only to find out that he himself had already been reported to police, more than likely by the attackers.
Given that the police reports concern a member of the Riksdag, the case is being handled by the Special Prosecutors Chamber.
Politically motivated attacks against people and property associated with Sweden Democrats have become increasingly common since the party became a formidable parliamentary force. The mainstream press has consistently demonized the Sweden Democrats as a party that poses a ‘threat to democracy’ due to its nationalistic policy positions, especially with respect to its staunch opposition to mass immigration. A similar situation has been observed in Germany, where members of the conservative political party AfD, Alternative für Deutschland, are the main victims of political violence.