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A far-right Danish politician’s threat to burn the Koran and spill “pig’s blood” on it has sparked riots in Sweden in recent days.
The anti-Muslim and far-right political party Stram Kurs planned to stage a protest in the town of Landskrona, but announced a change of location to the city of Malmö after protesters threw stones and set cars, tires on fire and trash cans.
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Kim Hild, spokesman for the police in southern Sweden, said authorities would not revoke permission for anti-Muslim protests since they had not crossed the threshold to deny freedom of speech.
The right of protesters “to demonstrate and speak out weighs enormously, heavily and it takes a lot to ignore,” Hild told Swedish news agency TT.
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Swedish police reported that up to 100 youths were involved in Saturday’s violence, which followed a more violent clash Friday between protesters and counter-protesters in the town of Orebro.
The Orebro protest required the intervention of riot police.
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Similar protests took place in other towns and cities, including the capital Stockholm.
Rasmus Paludan, a Danish lawyer who also holds Swedish citizenship and founded the Stram Kurs party, addressed the attendees as protesters threw rocks at him. No one reported serious injuries, but Paludan was hit in the leg by a rock.
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Paludan established the party, whose name means “Hard Line”, in 2017, but has yet to reach the 2% threshold needed to be represented in the Folketing, Denmark’s parliament.
The party posts videos on a YouTube channel, which mostly feature party demonstrations.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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