Riot in Sweden over Quran burning protest, two arrested
Police say some onlookers have shown upset feelings after the organiser burned writings
Swedish police on Sunday arrested two persons and detained around 10 others after a violent riot broke out at a protest involving the burning of Holy Quran, police said.
The protest was organised by Iraqi refuge Salwan Momika, whose protests have sparked outrage across the Middle East. Sunday’s protest was held in a square in the southern city of Malmo, which has a large immigrant population and according to public broadcaster SVT around 200 people had showed up to watch.
“Some onlookers have shown upset feelings after the organiser burned writings,” police said in a statement. The mood was at times heated,” the statement said, adding a “violent riot” occurred at 1:45 pm (1145 GMT).
According to police, the event had ended after the organiser left but a group of people remained at the scene. About 10 people were detained for disturbing the public order and another two were arrested, suspected of violent rioting. Local media reported that some onlookers threw rocks at Momika, and video from the scene showed some trying to break through the cordon before being stopped by police.
In another video, a man could be seen trying to stop the police car that transported Momika from the location by getting in front of it. Through a series of demonstrations, Momika has sparked anger directed at Sweden and diplomatic tensions between Sweden and several Middle Eastern countries.
The Swedish government has condemned the desecrations of the Holy Quran while noting the country’s constitutionally protected freedom of speech and assembly laws.
Iraqi protesters stormed the Swedish embassy in Baghdad twice in July, starting fires within the compound on the second occasion. Swedish envoys have also been summoned in a slew of Middle Eastern nations.